This magnificent blonde walnut wood armoire from the Vallee du Rhone is from the mid 1700’s during the Louis XV period. During the reign of Louis XV, asymmetry in furniture lines was all pervasive, with curved lines softening forms and motifs. Straight lines were interrupted by motifs or softened by moldings. This sinuosity did not preclude formal resolution; asymmetry was always balanced with equal masses of ornamentation. Note as an example, the moldings on this armoire’s asymmetrical tri-partite panels: where the carved motifs interrupt the molding, there is another motif diagonally opposite to balance this visually.
The motifs are beautifully hand carved and feature many stylized forms of the fleur-de-lis. On the frieze at the center are two facing c-scrolls with an acanthus leaf having four stems of fleur- de-lys emanating from it. Beneath this ornament is a single flowering fleur-de-lis with scrolling leaves and buds of stylized fleur-de-lys to either side. On the scalloped apron, there is a central motif of another stylized form of the fleur-de-lis and two fleur-de- lys on either side this. The central dormant has a large central sunflower with fleur-de-lys above and below it. The rounded side panels also have stylized fleur- de- lys at the top, center and knees of the feet. The ebenist who created this armoire for his client took great care to feature the fleur-de-lis in as many forms as possible, and this is something we have never seen. This is a very rare, imposing, and beautiful armoire.
Condition: Old restorations, minor rubs and nicks to wood