An unbelievably detailed oak buffet deux-corps that was hand-carved in France in the 1800’s, this piece features the Arms of Brittany and France. The original finish was recently stripped, giving the beautiful wood grain more prominence and showcasing the carved motifs.
The angular crown, which is adorned with a crenellated border, has a high arcing center, allowing the menuisier to carve a heraldic display representing both Brittany (ermine charges on a 15th century French style shield) and France (three fleur de lys over barry). Both charges are surrounded by a foliate shield draped with a large floral garland. The floral and foliate themes are also seen on the rectangular panels on the sides of both bodies, with elements including bundled acanthus volutes, sunflowers, and leafy rosettes.
Both bodies also have turned columns flanking a pair of ornately carved doors. The upper body (whose columns include a fluted pilaster above square molded plinths) has two thickly molded arched doors with winged putti sitting on a shaped pedestal under interlaced leaf curls with birds perched on the crests. A central mullion features a bundled leaf pilaster with a caulicole capital. The bottom section has a pair of square door panels embellished with branches and a foliate margent bundled by a crinkled ribbon. A caryatid mullion separates the two doors which open to reveal a full-length shelf.
At the top of the lower section is an immensely carved pull-out drawer. There is virtually no uncarved area to the facing, which is dominated by a dense curled leaf margent. A pair of florets have been carved into the vegetation, flanking a geometric pull with a scalloped leaf backplate. The drawer is flanked by a pair of volute leaf corbels, positioned directly above the turned columns.
This is one of the most imaginatively carved French case pieces we have seen. It is a fascinating mix of styles from the Renaissance and the Baroque: a creation that could only have come from a highly skilled and creative French furniture maker in the late 1800’s. The handsome oak buffet deux corps that will become the center of attention of any room in which it is displayed. It would look especially stunning when placed against crisp, white walls. Ideal for a gentleman’s office, great room, or game room, the storage piece can also be used in a kitchen or dining area.
CONDITION: Good antique condition with wear commensurate to age and use, including minor age separations, rubs, and losses. Old repairs and fills visible. Recently stripped, but there are still traces of the original finish. Guiderails are present on the upper body, but there is not a shelf. One key works the locks on both sections.