This elegant French cabinet has been carved out of cherrywood during the mid 1800’s. It is characterized by having a much narrower body than a normal armoire, as well as having an upper and lower door, separated by a center drawer. Many of the oldest and finest examples came from the Western coast of France. This homme debout, with its quadrilobe motifs, originated in the far Southern reaches of the West coast, an area known as Bearn. The encircled geometrical floral motifs within each quatrefoil are another indication to it’s provenance: a popular design element in old Spanish furniture.
This homme debout retains it’s original hardware, including well polished full length door hinges and pretty key plate and drawer pull escutcheons. Each door has it’s working lock and key, which open to reveal a classic French Toile de Jouy fabric interior. The front of the door panels have handsome curved moldings, which when waxed and buffed, play off the light beautifully. The side of the piece features lozenge shaped moldings, which correspond, in size, to the front sections of the cabinet. The lower apron is decorated with inlaid daisies and a small basket, and the front legs and feet are scrolling cabriolet, in the Louis XV style, while the back feet are shaped blocks.
*The legend of the “homme debout”: It has an upper and lower cabinet with a drawer in between the top and bottom cabinets and it was used for storing clothing and household goods. Homme Debout translates to standing man and was the name given to this type of furniture after the French Revolution. Legend has it, that it was used as a hiding place for armed Royalist insurgents during the Revolution. The middle drawer’s internal boards were removed allowing a man to stand up in the piece and hide!
CONDITION: Good antique condition with old worming in areas and some restoration to lower door. Minor nicks and losses in areas. Waxed finish. Comes with 2 keys.
Body Width – 28 1/2, Body Depth – 19 1/4