Originally presented as a wedding dowry, circa 1785 (making it period Louis XVI), this wonderfully hand-carved, hand-painted deux corps is from Normandy, France. According to a centuries-old custom, French fathers would give commissioned pieces of furniture as a wedding gift to their daughters. The item would be sent to the bride’s new home, packed with her belongings. This custom is no longer popular in Europe, but pieces from the 17th and 18th centuries still exist. Generally speaking, the more intricate the carvings, the wealthier the bride’s family was, indicating that this particular bride came from a prominent family.
The focal point of our deux corps de marriage is the large crest comprised of a wicker basket bouquet, located just under the arched top. Interestingly, the top of the buffet is arched, not just the crown, which is adorned with egg and dart above a deep cavetto cornice and a ring of imbricated discs that run behind the mid-relief crest. Other motifs include beading, additional bouquet medallions, crinkled ribbon bows, rosettes, Vitruvian waves, and widely spaced fluting. All of the carvings have been painted a true white, while the rest of the wood has a distinguished gray finish with blue accents that has become synonymous with painted antique furniture from Normandy. The interior of both bodies also has a bluish-gray finish, with the top section having two shaped, full-length shelves, while the bottom has one standard full-length ledge. This beautiful buffet deux corps de marriage from Normandy can be displayed anywhere in the home where storage is needed.
CONDITION: Good antique condition with very light age separations and rubs. Minor losses to carved motifs, with some restoration work, both existing and newer. The painted finish is not original and was done more recently. Functioning locks for both bodies, each with distinct keys.