Produced in France in the 1700’s, this gorgeous oak buffet deux corps (literally “two-body buffet”) features a bleached exterior with original interior paint. Deux corps were a popular type of furniture throughout France, with a shallow upper cabinet on top of a two-door buffet.
An arched crown with angular shoulders and several layers of molding tops the upper body. The pronounced edges are often seen in furniture from Northern France and Belgium. Each door has been hand-carved with a similar shape to the arch; likewise for the recessed panels that grace the front of the doors. The angled sides have decorative rods inside column-like fluting (known as chandelle), which was seen often in 18th century French architecture.
The interior of the upper body still has the original light blue paint. The bottom shelf wraps around the side and has three built-in drawers with wooden pulls. Above this ledge are three additional wrap-around shelves, each with a raised middle section supported by gentle S-scrolls. The unique shape of the shelves, coupled with a recessed channel that runs the length of the shelves, make this cabinet ideal for displaying faience or silver.
There is one full-length shelf inside the lower unpainted body. Each door features a recessed rectangular panel surrounded by thin molding, much in the same style as the upper body doors. The angled sides once again have chandelle fluting, and there is a repeating motif of crenellated arches above the molded frieze.
Our 18th century oak buffet a deux corps has a simple and restrained elegance. Originally, it would have been placed in a dining room to store service ware and linens required for large feasts. It can also be used in a large kitchen in lieu of the more contemporary walk-in pantry.
CONDITION: Good antique condition with age separations and minor losses. Buildup and loss of paint to interior of the upper body. Traces of old wood worm, original finish, and previous repairs. The pierced iron mounts are not original, and the locks do not function. The upper door stays shut via a pair of recently added magnets.