The display cabinet was an important part of the collector/connoisseur's furnishings, and would have served to simultaneously store and display cherished objects. However, it is quite rare that a pair of cabinets would have survived together. The generous size of the present pair, and the fact that they are constructed entirely from huanghuali, is a testament to the fact that they would have been quite costly and highly prized even at their time of manufacture. While many display cabinets of this form feature balustrades open at the front for ease of placing objects, those with continuous balustrades as seen on the present pair, are well known. See, for example, the huanghuali cabinet dated to the early Qing dynasty, illustrated in Ming Qing Gong Ting Jia Ju Da Guan, Beijing, 2006, p. 300, no. 340. An example of the former type with open balustrade is illustrated ibid., p. 299, no. 339, where it is dated to the Ming dynasty. See, also, two similar pairs of huanghuali display cabinets sold by Christie's, New York; one with low openwork railings from the Museum of Classical Chinese Furniture Collection, sold 19 September 1996, lot 76, and a less elaborate pair from the Dr. S.Y. Yip Collection, sold 20 September 2002, lot 12.