Colmar, where this handsome buffet deux corps was crafted, is an affluent commune in the Alsace region of France, a mere 15 miles from the German border. Because of this proximity, the hand-carved oak cabinet features some elements that were inspired by German woodworkers of the early 1700’s.
A robust lower body, with a thick molding along the apron, is supported by four onion feet, often found on large German case pieces. Above the apron is a pair of rectilinear doors that open on iron hinges, revealing a full-length shelf. The doors are comprised of thick quarter round molding surrounding raised geometric panels (influenced by German carvings). Similar doors can be seen on the upper body, fronting an interior with three full-length shelves. These larger doors have three panels, with the bottom two having raised geometric motifs, while the topmost panel is embellished with a floral margent. The sides are also composed of rectilinear panels with geometric carvings, but without the thick molding.
The linear appearance of the two bodies is contrasted by a high arching crown with several layers of molding and cavetto cornices that extend beyond the upper body. Beneath the arch is a masterfully executed display of a pair of delicately carved birds flanking an asymmetrical leaf cartouche with floral décor, perfectly inset beneath the thick crown molding. This showcases the skill of French furniture carvers of the early 1700s. At the base of the upper body is a 38-inch-wide shelf with bronze pulls that would have been extended during meal service, allowing serving pieces or even food to be temporarily displayed. Our French oak buffet deux corps can still be used in this function in the dining room of any style home. The storage piece could also be used in a kitchen as an external pantry. The locks and hardware on the interior of the doors are beautifully crafted, and they still operate very well. With a maximum width of 56 inches (body width only 52 inches), this French buffet deux corps is smaller than others of the period, allowing it to be placed in nearly any sized home.
CONDITION: Good antique condition with light nicks and age separations. Minor rubs (to the top of the lower body) from the pullout drawer, commensurate with age and use. Acceptable nicks and losses to the shelves.