Dating to the 1600s, this French wine press screw has been repurposed into a very unique floor lamp. Based on the size of the piece and the well-carved decorative elements, the press most likely was commissioned by a grand wine property. Wine press screws such as this were part of much larger wooden structures which would have been used to extract juices from grapes by applying pressure to the fruits. Not many of these huge and ancient wooden wine presses exist today, but photos can be found online, and a few are housed in small museums in Burgundy.
Notice the thick chamfered edges of the screw that would have assisted in the winemaking process; they are also aesthetically pleasing, adding contour and shading to the tall column. At the base of the column is a set of four robust monopodial lion paws with detailed fur that serve as ornate supports. These highly unusual decorative paws are set beneath a curled leaf that terminates in a pair of volutes.
The original finish was removed at some point in its history, and although some areas (most noticeably the feet) have retained traces of the darkened wood, the overall color is beige with gray accents. A flaxen linen shade with two small rings of blue pairs nicely with the raw walnut wood below. Our 17th-century French wine press floor lamp would make a stellar addition to an office, library, or living room.
CONDITION: Good antique condition with minor nicks and age separations. Light traces of old wood worm damage, resulting in some losses. Bleached more recently and repurposed into a floor lamp, with a later adjustment to the socket to function in American homes.