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Chinese Export Cupboards

CHINESE EXPORT STYLE

Expanded trade between Europe and East Asia, starting in the 16th century, led to a booming market for exported goods, particularly furniture. This was bolstered by the establishment of the Dutch and English East India Companies at the beginning of the 17th century. From folding screens and chairs to lacquer tables and silver, Chinese Export furniture was in demand and regularly copied and imitated, leading to styles like chinoiserie and Chinese Chippendale.

The expansion of exporting that had strengthened the arts during the Ming dynasty continued into the Qing dynasty era — Chinese designers made many furniture pieces specifically for export, resulting in distinctive designs that mixed traditional techniques with forms appealing to foreign buyers. For instance, cabinetmakers in Canton (modern-day Guangzhou) were prolific in crafting hardwood furniture for export in European styles that involved the expert joinery techniques of Chinese furniture. Designs for Chinese Export porcelain, cabinets, decorative objects and other furniture were often more ornately adorned than they would be for a local audience, such as with mother-of-pearl overlays or surfaces featuring lavish pictorial scenes or gold on black motifs. Some were even commissioned by wealthy European families to be adorned with their coat of arms.

Because lacquer furniture was especially prized, and the resin used to create it was difficult to import as it would harden during the long voyage, artisans in China and Japan exported numerous lacquer pieces. Long before lacquer made its way to Japan, the Chinese treated the material differently. They used it to create smooth, glossy surfaces, but also for carving, an art that began in the 12th century and is exclusively Chinese. These pieces are called cinnabar lacquer after the powdered mercury sulfide (cinnabar) employed to produce their characteristic red hue. A popular form for export was a compact cabinet with drawers, usually displayed on a small table. Undecorated furniture built in Europe was also shipped to China to be lacquered. The international exchange of design would influence furniture into the 19th century and later, informing styles such as Art Deco and Art Nouveau.

Find a collection of antique Chinese Export tables, beds, cupboards, table lamps and more furniture on 1stDibs.

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Style: Chinese Export
MId-20th Century Chinese Carved Rosewood Siver Chest Cabinet
Located in Germantown, MD
An exceptional Mid-20th Century Chinese Carved Rosewood Siver Chest and Cabinet in great vintage condition. Features a flip top that open to reveal two flatware storage trays all fel...
Category

Mid-20th Century Hong Kong Chinese Export Cupboards

Materials

Felt, Rosewood

Antique Chinese Hand Carved circa 1880 Compound Cabinet Cupboard Campaign Handle
Located in GB
We are delighted to offer for sale this very fine circa 1880 Antique Chinese hand carved stackable compound cupboard with military campaign style side handles A very rare, important and collectable piece of antique Chinese furniture...
Category

1880s Chinese Antique Chinese Export Cupboards

Materials

Brass

19th Century Antique Chinese Chinoiserie Hand-Painted Lacquer Cabinet
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Unique Chinese lacquer cabinet from the original Spago restaurant on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, currently being remodeled. Patinated bronze hardware.
Category

19th Century Chinese Antique Chinese Export Cupboards

Materials

Bronze

18th Century Chinese Hardwood Tapered Cabinet
Located in Paddock Wood Tonbridge, GB
A very simple and plain Chinese round corner and tapered cabinet produced early 18th century from mixed hardwoods, with later restorations and rep...
Category

Mid-18th Century Chinese Antique Chinese Export Cupboards

Materials

Hardwood

19th Century Antique Chinese Chinoiserie Hand-Painted Lacquer Cabinet
Located in Los Angeles, CA
Unique Chinese lacquer cabinet from the original Spago restaurant on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles, currently being remodeled. Patinated bronze hardware.
Category

19th Century Chinese Antique Chinese Export Cupboards

Materials

Bronze

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Chinese Antique Scholar's Cabinet with Carved Grapevine
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18th Century Swedish Baroque Cabinet
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H 79.53 in W 54.73 in D 23.23 in
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20th Century Rustic Pine Cabinet
Located in Southampton, NY
20th Century Rustic Pine Cabinet A simply constructed pine cabinet with two doors and a central rail. A grey-ish painted wash gives creates a beautiful patina. Two porcelain knobs a...
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20th Century Rustic Pine Cabinet
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H 65.5 in W 48 in D 18.38 in
Korean Tansu Elmwood Chest with Iron Hardware, 20th Century
Located in Southampton, NY
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Antique Carved Breton Buffet Cabinet, French, Sideboard, Oak, circa 1880
Located in Hele, Devon, GB
This is an antique carved Breton buffet cabinet. A French sideboard crafted in oak in the late 19th century, circa 1880. An ornate example of French, ...
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Late 19th Century French Antique Chinese Export Cupboards

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19th Century Crimson Red On Black, Chinoiserie Cabinet
Located in Hastings, GB
19th century crimson red on black chinoiserie cabinet Original paintwork The door, decorated with oriental landscapes and figures in gilt, op...
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19th Century English Antique Chinese Export Cupboards

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18th Century Swedish Rococo Period Cabinet
Located in Charleston, SC
18th century Swedish Rococo Period Cabinet in two pieces with wonderful arched cornice and original hardwares .Upper unit features three shelves in blue patina. All resting on two sm...
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18th Century Swedish Rococo Period Cabinet
18th Century Swedish Rococo Period Cabinet
H 81.25 in W 51.5 in D 18 in
Antique Painted Pine Cupboard Cabinet, Hungary circa 1890
Located in Round Top, TX
This old pine cupboard has been painted over multiple times in its long life, with current tones of layered pale ochre and white all distressed revealing the natural pine below. This...
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Late 19th Century Hungarian Antique Chinese Export Cupboards

Materials

Glass, Pine, Paint

18th Century German Stripped Oak Baroque Display Cabinet
Located in Dusseldorf, DE
German provincial Baroque display cabinet or buffet. West German, 2nd half of the 18th century. Solidly made of oak and partially carved. Th...
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18th Century German Antique Chinese Export Cupboards

Materials

Glass, Oak

20th Century Cupboard or Cabinet, Walnut, Castillian Influence, Spain, Restored
Located in Miami, FL
Grand 20th century Spanish armario or wardrobe armoire constructed from walnut. Features a coffered case fronted by two doors. This massive cabinet made in Spain features beautiful w...
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Walnut

Previously Available Items
Vintage Asian Black Lacquer and Gilt Cabinet
Located in Vancouver, British Columbia
A small Asian two-door black lacquer cabinet with hand-painted gilt landscape scenery to the front and gilt floral details to the sides. Single interior middle shelf.
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Materials

Lacquer

Early 19th Century Chinoiserie Hall Cupboard
Located in Darlington, GB
A rather special chinoiserie painted and lacquered hall cupboard, with decorated cornice mouldings, finely executed gilding with Chinese scenes to the tw...
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Materials

Pine

Early 19th Century Chinoiserie Hall Cupboard
Early 19th Century Chinoiserie Hall Cupboard
H 70.87 in W 43.31 in D 23.23 in
Late 20th Century Display Glazed Cabinet on Cabriole Legs & Glass Shelves
Located in GB
We are delighted to offer for sale this stylish Chinese hardwood glazed cabinet standing on cabriole legs. The cabinet is charming and decorative, with a pair of drawers, glazed s...
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Antique Chinese Two Door Sideboard
Located in Paddock Wood Tonbridge, GB
An Antique Chinese dresser in black and red lacquer, with still life art painted to the front doors, mid 19th century some replaced parts, and fu...
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1860s Chinese Antique Chinese Export Cupboards

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Elm

Antique Chinese Two Door Sideboard
Antique Chinese Two Door Sideboard
H 34.65 in W 47.64 in D 15.36 in
Chinoiserie Wardrobe Cabinet Northern China c1820
Located in Paddock Wood Tonbridge, GB
A Chinese solid elm cabinet with original lacquer produced in Northern China during the Quing Dynasty, this cabinet was usually bought as a gift for a newly married couple and lot were restored and exported to Europe from china in the 1980’s amongst these were early 19th century ones like this example. The Chinoiserie artwork...
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1820s Chinese Antique Chinese Export Cupboards

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Sublime circa 1860 Chinese Hand Carved and Lacquered Cabinet Old Paneled Doors
Located in GB
We are delighted to offer for sale this lovely very old circa 1860 Chinese hand carved and lacquered pot cupboard with ornately decorative doors A very good looking and well made ...
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Lovely Shanghai China 1920s Coromandel Polychrome Painted and Lacquered Cabinet
Located in GB
We are delighted to offer for sale this stunning very decorative hand painted circa 1920s polychrome painted and lacquered marriage cabinet A very ...
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1920s Chinese Vintage Chinese Export Cupboards

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1930s Chinese Poly-Chrome Two-Door Painted Cabinet
Located in Los Angeles, CA
This painted cabinet features a mountainside Chinese Village in striking red and gold colors with a dark wash over them. The cabinet depicts a different part of the village showing h...
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1930s Asian Vintage Chinese Export Cupboards

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Chinese Japanese Export Claw & Ball Vintage Chest Trunk Box Cranes Rural Schenes
Located in GB
We are delighted to offer for sale this vintage Chinese or Japanese Export carved wood trunk with claw and ball feet A good looking piece depicting rural scenes, the lock plate it...
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Early 20th Century Chinese Chinese Export Cupboards

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Pair of Antique Chinese Tiger Oak Small Cupboards Bank of Drawers Side Table
Located in GB
We are delighted to offer for sale this lovely pair of antique Chinese hand-carved in tiger oak alter cabinets with drawers A very good looking and we...
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Early 20th Century Chinese Chinese Export Cupboards

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Brass

Stunning Heavily Carved Antique Chinese Cabinet Cupboard with Drop Front Desk
Located in GB
We are delighted to offer for sale this stunning antique Chinese heavily carved cabinet with drop front desk A truly stunning piece, carved f...
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20th Century Chinese Chinese Export Cupboards

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Hardwood

Chinese Lacquered Hand-Painted Gold Leaf Mother-of-Pearl Inlay Display Cabinet
Located in GB
We are delighted to offer for sale this lovely hand made in China black lacquered display cabinet Expertly crafted, the detail...
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21st Century and Contemporary Chinese Chinese Export Cupboards

Materials

Glass, Lacquer

Chinese Export cupboards for sale on 1stDibs.

Find a broad range of unique Chinese Export cupboards for sale on 1stDibs. Many of these items were first offered in the 20th Century, but contemporary artisans have continued to produce works inspired by this style. If you’re looking to add vintage cupboards created in this style to your space, the works available on 1stDibs include case pieces and storage cabinets, asian art and furniture and other home furnishings, frequently crafted with wood, hardwood and other materials. If you’re shopping for used Chinese Export cupboards made in a specific country, there are Asia, China, and East Asia pieces for sale on 1stDibs. It’s true that these talented designers have at times inspired knockoffs, but our experienced specialists have partnered with only top vetted sellers to offer authentic pieces that come with a buyer protection guarantee. Prices for cupboards differ depending upon multiple factors, including designer, materials, construction methods, condition and provenance. On 1stDibs, the price for these items starts at $1,381 and tops out at $6,500 while the average work can sell for $5,829.

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