Hand-carved in France, circa 1700, this exceptional oak buffet deux corps offers ample storage space with eight doors, two drawers, and a pull-out tray. All the doors have functional locks, which are operated by seven keys (the two doors on the left side share a key). As with most furniture constructed before the early 1700’s, the wood panels have been joined via wooden dowels. It was created during the Louis XIV period when case pieces were large with overall rectilinear forms and had an imposing nature, yet were graced with elegantly shaped French moldings. As with many pieces created during this period, the wood used was a fine French oak, given a warm, rich patina.
An arched crown with angular shoulders, a stepped-out center corbel, and several layers of molding, tops the upper body. Each of the asymmetrical doors have been carved with a similar shape to the crown and feature thick molding. The doors open on brass and iron hinges, revealing a light blue painted interior with three full-length shaped shelves. There are two pull-out drawers at the base of the upper section that have molding like the doors, as does the socle beneath. Both pilasters on the angled sides have doors that open to reveal three small shelves (14” W x 7” D).
The lower section also has two doors on the angled section, this time with two shelves measuring 15” W x 9 ½” D. In stark contrast to the upper doors, the lower body contains symmetrically shaped doors, consisting of square panels with canted corners. These doors, which also have rich molding, front an unpainted interior with one full-length shelf. Slightly above the doors is a pull-out tray with two round metal pulls. Seven block feet are tucked under the thick plinth, offering plenty of stability for the two-bodied cabinet.
Our oak buffet a deux corps would make a great statement for any home. In the 18th century, this storage piece would have been used in a dining room to store silverware, plates, or objets. It could also have been used to store linens. Today, this French buffet deux corps can be used in a kitchen, dining room, or anywhere a large statement piece with practical storage is needed. Original vertical slot latches secure the upper left door. If desired, one of both of the upper doors can be left open to display silver or decorative objects against the light blue interior.
CONDITION: Good antique condition with wear commensurate to age and use, including small age separations and nicks. Minor losses to the wood and to at least one keyplate. The interior has light buildup with rubs to paint. Eight functional locks, operated by seven keys (with one being cut recently). Knob to upper slot latch missing, but still functions well.