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Early 19th Century Chinese Manchurian Cabinet

How we breathe life and new Ivory and Pear wood inlay back into a gorgeous Chinese Manchurian Cabinet.
This Cabinet was in our shop for nearly a year for conservation.  Trying to find Ivory on the black market was quite an endeavor!

 
 

View 1
This Manchurian Cabinet has some interesting history.  It was on the last ship into Charleston Harbor before the Union Blockade during the Civil War.  It also had a matching Cabinet and bed, which to date the owners are still looking for to try and bring the suite back together.




 


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View 2
This Manchurian Cabinet is a good candidate for some serious restoration!  Notice the splits in the back panel and doors among others.  Also notice the elegant conduit clamp used as the top right door hinge.  Nice addition!







 


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View 3
We are just splitting up here.  Both exterior doors on the top and bottom had splits like this one.

 




 

 


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  View 4
The Emperor cannot glide across a broken bridge like this one.







 
 


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View 5
So Here we ease his mind with a new set of steps.

 

 










 


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  View 6
And here we finish the aesthetic for the little guy with living color.














 
 


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  View 7
And what would a flowering tree be without the Ivory inlay flowers?

 


 

 


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View 8
Here, our lovely flowers are starting to take form.  We have blocked out and glued in the initial profile.



 


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View 9
And here, our flowers see life!

 


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  View 10
Oh No!  A missing Temple Cupola.   The Emperor won't like this one bit!



 

 

 


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View 11
Ah...now that is a bit better.  Note that the replaced Ivory inlay above the Temple is a...?  I haven't the slightest idea.  We matched the carving to similar objects on the other door.  The number of different objects on this cabinet is enormous.

 



 


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View 12
Now the Emperor can meditate with his entourage in full peace.

 

 



 


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View 13

A split moon...or nearly so, with split wafting clouds floating by.  There will be no split clouds for this Emperor, just split personalities!

 


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  View 14
Here we have a closer detail of the left of the split cloud with the framed beading that circumferences both doors.  This is some of the beading that needed replacing.


 


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View 15
Woops...we made a mistake.  We forgot that this cloud was split, not jagged.

 


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View 16
Now, that is much nicer.  Our cloud is no longer split or jagged, it is simply wafting in the moon light...just as the Emperor commanded.  If only he could be so simple!


 


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  View 17
Another mistake...well sort of.  This branch of the tree was missing, and we assumed it to be Pear wood inlay.




 

 


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  View 18
The client then calls us to inform us that she has found a missing bit of inlay and sends it to us.  Low and behold, the branch inlay on this part of the tree was Ivory.




 
 


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  View 19
We promptly reset and restored the Ivory inlay to the Emperor's satisfaction.  We apologize to all our sponsors for this mishap!!!  We will not let this happen again.


 

 


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  View 20
What do we have here?  Little Ivory inlay waves at the base of the bridge that need some replacing.






 
 


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  View 21
Onward and upward, lets get this water flowing right!






 


 

 

 


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View 22
Now the Emperor has one more peaceful scene completed in his garden.  However, would somebody please get him off that donkey.

 


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View 23
Oh no...not another Temple Tantrum.  The Emperor splits right up when he see this stuff.






 

 


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View 24
Ahhh, now our mighty Emperor is starting to settle down.  Here we have re-laid in Pear wood the missing half of the Temple.











 

 


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  View 25
It is nearly time for meditation!  We added a bit more cafe au lait to the new half of the temple after this photo and before delivery to the client.  The Emperor and client were overjoyed.











 
 


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View 26
Here is that funny unidentifiable floating object again...a fish maybe?

 






 


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  View 27
Here we are at the bottom of the image with questionable object finished.







 

 


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View 28
We protected surrounding areas during carving of the Ivory inlay with thick plastic sheet.

 



 


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View 29
Here our newly replaced little Ivory dot at the head of the Emperor's transport has made him extremely happy. Also note the perspective of the Dragon Fly and the Japanese Beetle. They are as large as the Emperor himself, denoting a view from on high in the heavens.

 

 


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  View 30
This is a bit of eye candy to show the amount of detail put into our friends from above on this lovely Manchurian Cabinet.


 


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  View 31
This view shows how a handy man insists that a conduit clamp doubles just fine as a Ebony hinge cap!














 
 


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View 32
This is our response to the handy man.

 



 


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  View 33
This is another nice detail shot. Every Emperor should have a nice little doggy.
 




 

 

 
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  View 34
I guess these would be the Emperor's guard dogs, ugly as they may be,...nicely cleaned up






 

 


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View 35
I suppose the Emperor needs one guard dog per side to keep all the evil demons out.  Dogs this ugly will keep most anything out.


 

 


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View 36
Here are a pair of nice dragons to help with the guard dogs on the evil demon trampling.

 


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View 37
A finished view with splits, hinges and dirty dogs nicely cleaned up.



 

 

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  View 38
This is a different angle of the finished cabinet.
 


 

 

 


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View 39
This view shows the exterior doors open and the interior of the cabinet.




 


 


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