Period: Ming dynasty (1368–1644)
Date: 16th century
Medium: Wood (Huanghuali/Dalbergia odoriferal); metal fittings
Dimensions: H. 103 3/4 in. (263.5 cm); W. 56 in. (142.2 cm); D. 24 3/4 in. (62.9 cm)
Credit Line: Purchase, The Vincent Astor Foundation Gift, 1976
Accession Number: 1976.193.8a–o
The closet as we know it did not exist in China. Instead, capacious wardrobes like this one were used for storage: the lower compartments held bedding and clothing, the upper one hats. The beautifully grained wood, simplicity in form, fine craftsmanship, and superb joinery without the use of nails or glue are typical of fifteenth- and sixteenth-century Chinese furniture.