Hand-carved from walnut wood and embellished with gilt highlights, this stunning four door buffet deux corps was produced around Lyon, France, during the mid to late 1600’s. The two-bodied storage piece, which has large bun feet in the front, can be considered from the Louis XIII period, as indicated by the geometric structure, turned wood, and the molded cornice and socle.
A molded crown tops the upper body just above square dentils, which bears resemblance to Italian decoration of the period. Italian furniture makers were known to come into France though Lyon during this time, and they ended up having a great influence on French furnishings. Beneath the dentils are three gilded eagles with crowns surrounded by flowers. The two eagles on the edges of the front façade look towards the center of the cabinet, where a double-headed eagle is positioned. Directly beneath the eagles are two doors that open on iron hinges to reveal a full-length shelf. Both doors, which are flanked by three thick, turned half-columns, are adorned with carved flowers, rosettes, and elongated feathers. In the middle of each door is a panel with canted corners and raised molding that surrounds a gilded cartouche. The cartouche features a central medallion of a quatrefoil surrounded by feathers arranged in a spiral. A pierced border spins off to form two rosette roundels on the side of the medallion. The top and bottom of the border transition into acanthus rinceaux with margent terminals. The bottom section is constructed virtually identically to the upper body, including the full-length shelf.
Two pull-out drawers separate the upper body from the lower section. Each drawer has six roundels with various floral centers that flank an oval rosette medallion. In the middle of each rosette is a brass pull. The drawers are flanked by three raised rectangular panels embellished with a rosette and cavetto molding.
This 17th century French buffet deux corps will make a grand statement in any room that needs storage, from the bedroom to the dining room. The gilt sections (or “rechampi”) beautifully contrast the warm color of the walnut, which makes for a grand and unusual piece.
CONDITION: Good antique condition with minor losses, especially to the molding of the socle and gilded elements. Traces of old wood worm with light nicks and separations throughout. **Original production is from the 17th century, but several old repairs and replacements used newer, yet still antique wood. A magnet has been added to the right door of the lower body, but the latches of the left door of both sections still function.