Crafted near the base of the French Alps, circa 1850, this veneered chiffonier hails from the former province of Le Dauphiné. During the reign of Napoleon III (known as “The Second Empire”, roughly 1848-1871), the region experienced significant industrial development and became an important center for luxury household goods.
A chiffonier is a tall and narrow commode with more than three drawers, first seen in mid-18th century bedrooms and living rooms of women of high society. Examples from The Second Empire, such as our six drawer chiffonier (which has been assembled with dovetail joineries), were often veneered with elaborate marquetry designs.
Each drawer front has a geometric pattern with an elongated oval inset among a segmented rectangular. In the center of the marquetry is a bronze drop handle with floral and foliate mounts and a pair of small, scalloped shells. A scrolled leaf keyplate, also in bronze, sits above each handle, fronting the drawer’s functional lock. Similar floral and foliate bronze can be seen flanking the upper drawer, with a scrolled corbel above a scalloped leaf and floral margent. The apron features a pair of high arches flanking a down swinging curve that is adorned with another bronze embellishment, this time a Rococo-inspired cabochon flanked by pierced leaves.
Our Le Dauphine chiffonier has hues of honey and brown, giving it a beautiful and warm appearance. An equally gorgeous one inch thick marble with subtle bombe shape and recessed quarter round molding tops the six drawers. The stone is mainly rouge with cream, ochre, and brown inclusions, with traces of small fossils. A perfect chest of drawers for any bedroom, boudoir, or living room.
CONDITION: Good antique condition with wear commensurate to age and use, including minor rubs and age separations to veneer. Fleabites to marble top with light scratches. Light buildup to bronze mounts. One key operates six functional locks.