This rare large buffet from Arles is from the early 1700’s. It has been hand carved and pegged throughout. The impressive large door hinges and hardware are original to the piece, and it has been made from French Blond Walnut Wood. The piece has beautiful graining on the top, with a large burl in the center. The blonde variety is said to be somewhat resistant to insects. The buffet rests on beautiful large escargot front feet with shaped back feet (as opposed to straight blocks).
Many of the Provence buffets were used to knead dough during the 18th centuries. Commoners usually owned the more primitive “Petrin”, while the well to do were known to use buffets or ‘credences’. With the massive spread of boulangeries in the 19th century, the kneading tanks were removed from these pieces, and tops were then pegged in. The typical 18th century Credence from Provence never had drawers, and always had a top with a large overhang to keep it from falling during opening/closing. What is of particular interest is on the inside—the corners have boards which have been chiseled towards the top. This is where the kneading tank would have slid into place. On the outside, you can see that the top is “ledged” so that it could be raised and lowered to knead the dough. The corners are rounded and the motifs on the front are cross sculpted ears of wheat. It is particularly wide, which is rare. M‘credences’. With the massive spread of boulangeries in the 19th century, the kneading tanks were removed from these pieces, and tops were then pegged in.
This buffet came straight from a home in Provence and never had its top pegged. We have recently pegged the top before transportation from France. This is a particularly beautiful period Louis XV piece, typical of 18th century Provence.
CONDITION: Excellent condition commensurate with early 1700’s. Minor rubs nicks and scratches to wood.