From the Regence period, this oak armoire was hand carved in France, circa 1720. Regence was the period of French history when the nation was governed by Philippe d’Orléans while the future king, Louis XV, was too young to rule. This period of French history coincided with a style of furnishings that blended some of the imposing lines of the preceding Louis XIV period with the light carvings of scrollwork, shells, and curvilinear forms of Louis XV style. Oak was considered the supreme wood during these years.
Four half shelves (that combine to form two full-length shelves), sit behind a pair of highly carved doors with iron hinges. Near the top of each door, there is a shaped molding surmounted with curled acanthus leaves that terminate in volute scrolls. Beneath the scrolls is a large ovate medallion with a diapered background and adorned with gadrooned leaves, interlaced scrolls, and a margent of curled leaves. The molding extends downward, forming a vertical panel with an arched bottom surrounded by curled leaves once again terminating in scrolled leaves. The doors are separated by a center column embellished with fluted bandwork surrounded by shaped molding.
The large, angular crown has stepped cavetto molding. The shape is repeated at the base and in the molding that separates the doors from two drawers. Each drawer has a highly detailed horizontal margent of bandwork with decreasing size water leaves emanating from a central floret. The angled sides have margents like the doors, while the frieze alternates between interlaced scrolls with curled leaves and bandwork comparable to the drawers. The armoire sits on five bun feet, with the front three being ¾ cut, while the back two are ¼.
This elegant and richly carved period Regence oak armoire from France will be a great acquisition for contemporary or traditional surroundings.
CONDITION: Good antique condition with slight age separations and minor losses. A small portion of the crown has been professionally repaired and new shelves have been added. 4 iron keys are included, but the right drawer lock does not function.