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  • Painted Tibetan Altar Cabinet - Late 19th Century

    Painted Tibetan Altar Cabinet -  Late 19th Century

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    Trade & Wholesale

    Our origins are in wholesale, so from movies to restaurants, retailers to architects, we have a long history of supplying our trade clients with unusual and unique oriental furniture & decorative art. 

    Whether purchasing for resale or buying on behalf of a client, we offer trade discount pricing to:


  • Retail Stores
  • Interior Designers
  • Film & Photo Studios
  • Architects
  • Event Producers

  • For all trade and wholesale enquiries please email us with your contact and business name, company registration number & VAT number (if applicable) to enquiries@indigo-uk.com or call 01672 564722


    For full details, visit our Trade & Wholesale Page

    Prop Hire

    Looking for that one off iconic piece for an event or requiring props for a filming or a photography shoot? You will have seen our oriental antique furniture & decorative art in the James Bond films, The Golden Compass and many others.


    For all prop hire enquiries please send emails to enquiries@indigo-uk.com or call 01672 564722


    For full details, visit our Trade & Wholesale Page

    Painted Tibetan Altar Cabinet - Late 19th Century

    SKU:M849

    £2,950

    This exquisitely painted cabinet is from Central Tibet and dates to the late 19th century. We've removed layers of soot and discoloured orange varnish to reveal the beautifully painted scenes underneath. See the final photograph for pre-restoration images. 

     

    Each panel is of precise cultural significance and tells the story of Tibet's rich history:

    Top Left: A Mongolian seated figure with a chained angry tiger - Some say this is Güshi Khan (1582 - 1655), ancestor of Ghengis Khan's younger brother. Güshi reunified Tibet in 1641. Some Tibetans protested the Mongol rule and cursed a tiger to kill him. He overcame the curse and tamed it with a chain. He was welcomed by most Tibetans and confirmed by the 5th Dalai Lama as the Dharma King of Tibet. This is a motif found from the 18th century onwards, often in Gelugpa monasteries. It is said to symbolise the supremacy of the yellow-hatted Mongol Gelugpa school over their red hatted rival of the old schools of Tibetan Buddhism. It also represents three Bodhisattvas; Avalokiteshvara, Vajrapani (the chain), & Manjushri (the tiger).

     

    Top Right:  Hvashang - a Chinese monk and a patron of the arhats. Hvashang is depicted as a rotund and joyful man holding mala beads and a fruit sitting alongside a vase filled with flaming jewels. It's been theorised that Hvashang could be Budai, a partially historical Chinese monk who is considered to be the 'Laughing Buddha' or 'Fat Buddha' Maitreya Buddha. Surrounded by eight auspicious symbols of Tibet. 

     

    Bottom Left: Garuda (khyung) the mythical lord of birds. He is the sworn enemy of snakes and nagas, hence the snake in his beak. He is venerated as a guardian of treasures and his fully grown emergence from the egg at birth symbolises the birth of great spontaneous awareness. Garuda bares similarities to the western griffon. 

     

    Bottom Right: A Tibetan snow lion with a green mane and a Chinese lion with an orange mane frolicking together. These mythical beasts could be a metaphor for the reciprocal relationship between the Chinese Qing Empire & Tibet. Many of Tibet's grandest furniture and buildings were sponsored by Imperial China who acted as patrons of their work. 

     

    These cabinets were often used in temples or as family altars & were used to store religious scrolls, silk ceremonial clothes, family jewelry and yak butter used in lamps. Often people would gift painted furniture to temples as offerings.

     

    This style of Tibetan cabinet is mostly seen from the 19th century onwards when the cabinet first became more prominent in Tibet. Prior to this, chests were the most common form of furniture in Tibet. Cabinets like this were constructed from cedar or pine and painted using mineral pigments. They were often used as family altars & were used to store religious scrolls, silk ceremonial clothes, family jewelry, and yak butter used in lamps.


    Original antique Tibetan cabinets are now very rare and there were many reproduction pieces made in China in the 1980's coming onto the market. This cabinet has four outward opening doors and is split into a top and bottom compartment separated by a shelf. 

     

    For similar examples see Auspicious by Design: A Collection of Antique Tibetan Painted Furniture by C Corona - Plate 61.

    For further information on Tibetan symbolism, see Tibetan Buddhist Symbols by R Beer. 


    Dimensions:

    86 x 50 x 95 (wxdxh cms)

     

    From Tibet

    UK Delivery Charge - except Highlands & Islands £40
    More delivery options available at checkout

    Dimensions: W86 x D50 x H95 cm


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    £2,950
    0
    0

    Free UK Delivery on orders over £100 

    Use code 'Delivery' at checkout

    In Stock - In Our Wiltshire Showroom


    This exquisitely painted cabinet is from Central Tibet and dates to the late 19th century. We've removed layers of soot and discoloured orange varnish to reveal the beautifully painted scenes underneath. See the final photograph for pre-restoration images. 

     

    Each panel is of precise cultural significance and tells the story of Tibet's rich history:

    Top Left: A Mongolian seated figure with a chained angry tiger - Some say this is Güshi Khan (1582 - 1655), ancestor of Ghengis Khan's younger brother. Güshi reunified Tibet in 1641. Some Tibetans protested the Mongol rule and cursed a tiger to kill him. He overcame the curse and tamed it with a chain. He was welcomed by most Tibetans and confirmed by the 5th Dalai Lama as the Dharma King of Tibet. This is a motif found from the 18th century onwards, often in Gelugpa monasteries. It is said to symbolise the supremacy of the yellow-hatted Mongol Gelugpa school over their red hatted rival of the old schools of Tibetan Buddhism. It also represents three Bodhisattvas; Avalokiteshvara, Vajrapani (the chain), & Manjushri (the tiger).

     

    Top Right:  Hvashang - a Chinese monk and a patron of the arhats. Hvashang is depicted as a rotund and joyful man holding mala beads and a fruit sitting alongside a vase filled with flaming jewels. It's been theorised that Hvashang could be Budai, a partially historical Chinese monk who is considered to be the 'Laughing Buddha' or 'Fat Buddha' Maitreya Buddha. Surrounded by eight auspicious symbols of Tibet. 

     

    Bottom Left: Garuda (khyung) the mythical lord of birds. He is the sworn enemy of snakes and nagas, hence the snake in his beak. He is venerated as a guardian of treasures and his fully grown emergence from the egg at birth symbolises the birth of great spontaneous awareness. Garuda bares similarities to the western griffon. 

     

    Bottom Right: A Tibetan snow lion with a green mane and a Chinese lion with an orange mane frolicking together. These mythical beasts could be a metaphor for the reciprocal relationship between the Chinese Qing Empire & Tibet. Many of Tibet's grandest furniture and buildings were sponsored by Imperial China who acted as patrons of their work. 

     

    These cabinets were often used in temples or as family altars & were used to store religious scrolls, silk ceremonial clothes, family jewelry and yak butter used in lamps. Often people would gift painted furniture to temples as offerings.

     

    This style of Tibetan cabinet is mostly seen from the 19th century onwards when the cabinet first became more prominent in Tibet. Prior to this, chests were the most common form of furniture in Tibet. Cabinets like this were constructed from cedar or pine and painted using mineral pigments. They were often used as family altars & were used to store religious scrolls, silk ceremonial clothes, family jewelry, and yak butter used in lamps.


    Original antique Tibetan cabinets are now very rare and there were many reproduction pieces made in China in the 1980's coming onto the market. This cabinet has four outward opening doors and is split into a top and bottom compartment separated by a shelf. 

     

    For similar examples see Auspicious by Design: A Collection of Antique Tibetan Painted Furniture by C Corona - Plate 61.

    For further information on Tibetan symbolism, see Tibetan Buddhist Symbols by R Beer. 


    Dimensions:

    86 x 50 x 95 (wxdxh cms)

     

    From Tibet

    UK Delivery Charge - except Highlands & Islands £40
    More delivery options available at checkout


    Shipping & Warranty

    • Guaranteed authenticity on all antique pieces (where dated)

    • Every item is in stock in the UK

    • We'll contact you to arrange a suitable delivery date

    • Hassle free returns

    • Free Click & Collect available on all pieces


    DISPATCH

    • - Non-furniture Delivery: 2-5 working days

    • - Furniture Delivery: Within 1 - 2 weeks

      (We'll call you to arrange a specific delivery date)

    DELIVERY

    • - Small items: £7.50

    • - Medium Sized items: £15

    • - Fragile Medium items: £20

    • - Small Furniture items: £40

    • - Furniture & Large Items: £80

    RETURNS

    • - Hassle Free Returns

    • - Return your order within 28 days for a full refund (excluding delivery charges)

    • - If you are not happy with your order, send it back with our delivery drivers. 

    • - Items must be returned in a resalable condition

    • - Collections can be arranged on request

    • Product Specific delivery charges visible above "Add to Basket" button and in Checkout (scroll up)

    • Additional charges may apply for deliveries to highlands, islands, out of area deliveries and collections. 

    • International Delivery: Please contact us for quotes on individual pieces at enquiries@indigo-uk.com, Livechat or calling +44 1672 564722

    Free UK mainland delivery on orders over £100 | Use code "DELIVERY" at checkout

    DISPATCH

    • - Non-furniture Delivery: 2-5 working days

    • - Furniture Delivery: Within 1 - 2 weeks

      (We'll call you to arrange a specific delivery date)

    • Free UK mainland delivery on orders over £100 | Use code "DELIVERY" at checkout

    RETURNS

    • - Hassle Free Returns

    • - Return your order within 28 days for a full refund (excluding delivery charges)

    • - Items must be returned in a resalable condition

    • - Collections can be arranged on request

    • Product Specific delivery charges visible above "Add to Basket" button and in Checkout (scroll up)

    • Additional charges may apply for deliveries to highlands, islands, out of area deliveries and collections. 

    • International Delivery: Please contact us for quotes on individual pieces

    Trade & Wholesale

    Our origins are in wholesale, so from movies to restaurants, retailers to architects, we have a long history of supplying our trade clients with unusual and unique oriental furniture & decorative art. 

    Whether purchasing for resale or buying on behalf of a client, we offer trade discount pricing to:


  • Retail Stores
  • Interior Designers
  • Film & Photo Studios
  • Architects
  • Event Producers

  • For all trade and wholesale enquiries please email us with your contact and business name, company registration number & VAT number (if applicable) to enquiries@indigo-uk.com or call 01672 564722


    For full details, visit our Trade & Wholesale Page

    Prop Hire

    Looking for that one off iconic piece for an event or requiring props for a filming or a photography shoot? You will have seen our oriental antique furniture & decorative art in the James Bond films, The Golden Compass and many others.


    For all prop hire enquiries please send emails to enquiries@indigo-uk.com or call 01672 564722


    For full details, visit our Trade & Wholesale Page

    • GUARANTEED AUTHENTICITY ON ALL ANTIQUE PIECES

    • 100% SAFE AND SECURE CHECKOUT WITH SHOPIFY

    • FREE NO QUIBBLE RETURNS

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