Le Louvre French Antiques

1400 Slocum Street
Dallas, TX 75207
214-742-2605 FAX: 214-742-2639
www.lelouvre-antiques.com info@lelouvre-antiques.com

Rare Period Italian Renaissance Walnut Wood Armadio Bookcase

This important and very large walnut wood case piece is an Italian Armadio that dates to the 16th century (with later boards in areas. See condition). This type of furniture first appeared in the 15th century, and it was typically the most imposing type of cabinet made in Italy at that time.

"The armadi of the High Renaissance were apt to be somewhat taller than those of the earlier period and their enrichment depended chiefly upon carvings and mouldings rather than upon polychrome and gold or intarsia adornment. The book-cupboard was an essential item of early Renaissance domestic furniture for the houses of wealthy and cultured people as well as a necessary part of the equipment in the libraries of monasteries." - THE PRACTICAL BOOK OF ITALIAN, SPANISH, AND PORTUGUESE FURNITURE. By Harold Donaldson Eberlein And Roger Wearne Ramsdell. Philadelphia & London. J.B. Lippincott Company 1927. First Edition.

The crown of this bookcase is stepped in and out, vertically and horizontally. Varying hand carved linear motifs are between the horizonal levels. The fluted pilasters with acanthus leaf capitals at either end of the opening are stepped out vertically, adding interest to this piece. Behind those fluted pilasters are interior cabinets with shelves that open on either side of the bookcase. The original locks are on the inside of the doors.  Beneath the front opening is a long, two handled drawer.  To either side of the drawer and beneath the pilasters are stepped out panels with frontages having hexagonal moldings, each framed by acanthus leaf corbels. All this rests upon a continuous molded base, without feet, which was typical of this period. The particulary large and imposing scale of this period High Renaissance armadio bookcase tells us it was likely commissioned for a monastery. The bookcase comes apart for transport: upper and lower sections, side pieces, back board, and shelves.

CONDITION AND NOTES: Good strong overall antique condition with some losses and nicks to wood throughout as seen in photos. Shelves recently added, and restorations performed. Evidence of old doors (pintle hinges can be seen in opening). Some boards to interior of structure replaced at some point in its history.

H=102, Crown Length=111, Crown Depth=31 3/4, Base Length=107 3/4, Base Depth=28 1/8, Width of Opening=61 3/4
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