This is an antique Japanese merchant chest called Choba Tansu from middle Meiji period (1880's-1890's). It was made using 100% Paulownia (Kirinoki) wood. The iron fittings were hand made.
Merchant chests were used by business owners for both function and marketing. For function, it served to store business papers, documents, valuables, books, stationery and sometimes calligraphy brushes, inkstone and inksticks. For marketing, it was displayed in a prominent part of the store so that customers would visually think that the business was established and successful to afford such a fancy and impressive form of furniture.
31"W x 16 3/4"D x 35"H