The Rocaille-inspired motifs of this bleached French armoire are deep and luxurious, indicating that it was hand-carved by a master craftsman. Equally as impressive is the construction of the various sections of oak, which have been pegged together on the interior (see detailed photos of the inside of the doors), providing a seamless joinery of asymmetrical panels. Several round dowels were also used on the three rectangular panels with deep molding on each side (visible in some photos), giving the tall and narrow armoire additional stability.
Both doors have three large, iron hinges that open to reveal four full-length shelves (there are also two guides for a hanging rod). A full-length and original forged iron spring closing mechanism keeps the left door securely shut, while the right door has a functioning lock and key. The doors have a unique shape, with a gently sloping top edge that rises to a canted corner. All of the corners are adorned with leaf clusters, most of which are topped by cabochons (the lower interior corners do not have the pebble-like carving). The three asymmetrical panels that form the door have a highly unusual design, with thick scrolled moldings dotted with gadrooned leaves and flowers. An elaborate crown graces the top, carved with prominent gadrooning with an inward slant, interrupted at the corners by a large foliate display consisting of a lobed leaf with a cabochon center and swirling tendrils. When the oak was bleached, it allowed the artistic flair of the rich carvings to gain prominence.
Our unique French oak armoire from the early 1800s has quite interesting proportions in that it is taller and narrower than many large armoires of the same period. At only 50 inches wide (body width), it can be placed in any bedroom or where space is at a premium, such as an entry hall or living room.
CONDITION: Very good antique condition with light losses, age separations, and minor rubs. The armoire has been stripped recently, revealing older repairs, which are very well done. Functioning lock with key.