This stunning painted bibliotheque most recently came from a chateau in the Lauragais region, in the southwest of France. The bookcase is realized from antique polychrome gray-green elements and features a beautiful arched opening which is crowned by a central cartouche with intricately carved foliate rinceaux. The bottom portion of the piece is an enfilade, comprised of 4 doors with working locks and key.
For the past 30 years, this bookcase has been residing in a private chateau. The mainly rural region from where it’s from, is well known for its agricultural production, hence the nickname Pays de Cocagne (“Land of Plenty”). However, the northwestern border of the region includes Toulouse, which is the fourth largest city in France and the European capital of the aerospace industry. The Lauragais is an eclectic region filled with rolling hills, pastel-colored shrubs, farms, churches and industry.
The lower section of this bibliotheque is a buffet enfilade, which is buffet that has more than two doors. Ours has four doors, all dating from the 18th century, with three locking plates that are operated by one shared key. Each door has been painted gray-green with an asymmetrically carved panel, but the overall composition remains symmetrical when viewed as a whole. Behind each of the doors, there are two unpainted shelves. The central section is stepped out while its top molding is highly curved, which is referred to as an arbalete or crossbow design.
The upper section has four adjustable shelves in beveled arbalete style to match the frieze of the lower section. The beautifully sculpted central cartouche has a pair of shell motifs which extend from behind the top of the cartouche and lead into foliate and floral carvings that mirror the curve of the arch. Above the traverse is a carved geometric panel that sits below the canted crown (crown affixed).
This unique painted French bibliotheque cabinet from Southwestern France will be the focal point of any room.
CONDITION: Good condition, with a few age separations, old minor repairs, nicks and rubs all commensurate with age and use. One key operates all lower locks. Old traces of wood worm on the back of top section.