This handsome hand-carved walnut buffet a deux corps comes from Southwestern France, circa 1690.
Literally, a buffet deux corps means “two body buffet”. A deux corps is a two-tiered cabinet where the upper section sits on top of the lower section. Deux corps buffets gained popularity in various regions of France during the reign of Louis XIII. The diamond point doors and turned columns would remain as major stylistic elements until the end of the 17th century.
The upper body of our deux corps has a stepped crown molding. Beneath the crown, there are three carved elements, including a curled leaf that sits on top of a horizontal bead and spindle motif. Beneath the bead and spindle is a series of triangular carvings. On the same eye level, but on each side, there is a carved panel that has two rectangles. The bottom rectangle has a smaller rectangle, whose lower corners are canted, superimposed on top of it.
The base of the upper section is once again stepped out. One of the main focal points is a set of three turned half-columns. The top of each column is Solomonic, or helix shaped. At the bottom, the columns seamlessly terminate into a set of stacked discs. In between the columns are two doors adorned with segmented and raised diamond points. The right-hand side door opens via an iron key to reveal two shelves lined with old paper with floral rinceaux design. The sides of the upper body have panels with large raised lozenges, or diamonds.
The lower section is virtually identical to the top with two exceptions. First, the top part of the lower body has two drawers with iron pulls. The right-hand drawer is a full drawer, while the left-hand drawer has been partitioned into six different sized compartments. The final difference is the interior shelves; instead of two shelves like the upper body, the lower section has an added half-shelf. The lower body sits on bun feet in the front and block feet in the back.
This lovely walnut buffet a deux corps from 17th century France is 70 inches tall and only 53 inches wide, making it smaller and easier to place than some of the very large examples that came to be in the 18th century. The walnut wood has gained a rich and warm patina over the years.
CONDITION: Good antique condition with old worming and minor losses. Recently cleaned and waxed, along with minor repairs.