Lacquer cabinets with a similar type of inlay, which includes hardstone, mother-of-pearl and colored glass, are illustrated by Lee Yu-kuan, Oriental Lacquer Art, Tokyo, 1972, p. 316, pl. 242 (dated Ming dynasty, 16th century). This technique is known as Zhou zhi ('Zhou work') and appears to have been developed in the late 16th century.
For similar examples of this form of embellishment, see an inlaid lacquer cabinet in R. H. Ellsworth et al., Chinese Furniture: One Hundred Examples from the Mimi and Raymond Hung Collection, New York, 1996, no. 78, formerly in The Arthur M. Sackler Collections and sold in these rooms, 1 December 1994, lot 181. See also the depiction of the landscape, especially the treatment of the rockwork and the use of mother-of-pearl flakes in the Kangxi cabinet in the Musée Guimet, illustrated by M. Beurdeley in Chinese Furniture, Tokyo, New York and San Francisco, 1979, p. 119, pl. 161. This type of decoration, often seen on furniture from the early Qing dynasty, can also be seen in a pair of cupboards in the Victoria and Albert Museum, and illustrated in C. Clunas, Chinese Furniture, London, 1988, no. 82. Compare also a mahogany inlaid table screen, in Zhu Jiajin, Furniture of the Ming and Qing Dynasties (II): The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum Hong Kong, 2002, p. 200, no. 174.
For a comparable example of this form of furniture, see G. N. Kates, Chinese Household Furniture, New York, 1948, no. 20, which illustrates the asymmetrical combination of shelf and lower cupboard. This type of cabinet can also be seen in Wan Yi, Wang Shuqin and Lu Yanzhen, Daily Life in the Forbidden City, Hong Kong, 1985, pl. 172, in the Hall of Mental Cultivation. A bamboo cabinet with display shelves is also illustrated, ibid., pl. 219. A carved lacquer, multi-partition cabinet decorated with pictures of antique objects, is also illustrated in Zhu Jiajin, Furniture of the Ming and Qing Dynasties (II): The Complete Collection of Treasures of the Palace Museum, Hong Kong, 2002, p.267, no. 226.
See also, an unusual set of inlaid hardwood panels, originally the two doors and four side panels from a cabinet, to be sold in these rooms, The C. Ruxton and Audrey B. Love Collection: Important European Furniture, Antiquities and Asian Works of Art, 20 October 2004, lot 454.