If we didn't have "items" we wouldn't want chests and cabinets. Case furniture of which chests and cabinets are but a sub set, have existed in China for centuries. Some very advanced and superbly assembled cabinets were made during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). Most of the designs first made during those very early years of cabinet making are still being created now. - antique storage
Early Chinese chests and cabinets were made of very fine woods, which are virtually extinct in China nowadays. Primary among those wood types are Huanghuali and Zitan. Huanghuali is still grown in the rest of Asia, but the wood grain is slightly not the same as that used in the Ming era.
Additional designs of Chinese chests and cupboards were made during years subsequent to Ming. Some were greatly ornamented; others retained the classical simplicity of earlier furniture. Cabinets ranged in size to considerably smaller chests readily managed by one person from the very large compound cabinets.
Brilliant building techniques by the Ming era craftsmen are passed down to the present day. Thus dating Chinese chests and cabinets is an extremely tricky science. The most effective gauge of age is the wear that one finds. Chinese furniture, until very lately, hasn't had a widespread fan club within China. Antiques were frequently considered confined to ivory jade, and paintings. Furniture tended to bring up the rear in the panoply of prized objects. Furniture was designed to be used, and used it has been. Signs of wear in the finish, rot in the legs, broken components and hinges are useful indicators of age.
The "as found" condition of chests and cabinets as well as other furniture things for example chairs, tables and beds produce a restoration dilemma. Often chests and cupboards in "as found" condition don't have any place in the modern home. Honestly, they may no more be usable, and you can find not many individuals who actually like to furnish their homes in the "buy it ratty and leave it alone" school of interior design. Normally collectors--particularly of ancient furniture--want their bits to resemble as much as you possibly can, the utility and complete that enhances not detracts from your initial layout. Just how much restoration is okay?
Such a question is answerable only in a person's eye of the ultimate user. If door hinges had been replaced a Ming era cupboard in among the first prized woods like huanghuali, could be considered desirable. If the whole door was replaced it could be looked at substantially less desired. Back legs could possibly be replaced, but likely not the whole cupboard top.
What in regards to the country furniture? What restoration is okay there? Obviously there are similar factors as with classical chests or cabinets. However, the nation furniture has not yet been used in conditions that were ideal from the perspective of preservation. There are really no hardwood floors in many houses in China. Moisture seeps up through the legs of furniture causing rot. Frequently there's no central heating, and also the furniture is subjected to important climatic variations. What about restoration of state chests and cabinets? My very personal answer is the fact that I always prefer preservation to desecration. How much better it is than to consign it to the burn pile to make a vintage piece beautiful and usable again? - antique storage