When Mount Pinatubo in the Zambales mountain range erupted in 1991, many surrounding areas on the tripoint boundary of Zambales, Pampanga and Tarlac were severely damaged by the resulting lahar floods. It decimated many areas, most seriously in Pampanga, burying, among others, hundreds of thousands of houses. Other than the more important lives lost, many infrastructure, river systems, livelihood and heritage objects disappeared.
This unusual comoda is one of the not so many fine pieces of furniture to survive that catastrophe. The entablature that supports the thick top has a lockable secret drawer purportedly disguised by mouldings and grooves along its perimeters . The mould-framed cabinet doors have twin oval engraved centers, surrounded by running and intertwining foliates. Flanking the doors are three posts – the most notable feature that makes this piece rather rare and unusual – each with beautifully turned vase, reel, cups and rings as capital and base, a reeded shaft in between, and square pedestal. The front skirting below has double inverted rounded pediments, bounded by three cup and simple bun feet, while the rear has two square feet.
The one-piece top has a slight warp and darkened patina, favored by many serious collectors as true signs of old age and long use. The presence of deeply embedded nails suggests originally there was egg mouldings along the top edge and the main horizontal frame.