This 18th century French buffet from Nimes is one of the most exceptional buffets we have found in recent years. The balance of lines has been finessed to perfection. The ornamentation is refined without stiffness or conversely, ostentation—simply pure. The top is rectangular with a refined shaped front. The frieze has three panels conforming effortlessly atop the two doors below. A stylized heart motif is at the center.
The two front door panels have thin asymmetrically shaped moldings on the raised panel which somewhat mirrors the two shapes of the outer moldings. The apron is magnificently hand pierced with rocaille motifs and scrolling rinceau. This is typical of the Nimes region cabinet makers. Note how the ends of the leaves curl into the openings. The rounded corners have beautifully carved acanthus leaves and scrolled feet on hooves. In the 6th and 7th photos, note the knee of the leg, where the acanthus leaf curls outward gracefully. This cabinetmaker was a superb artisan. The sides have two asymmetrical panels meeting at the center. There is original iron hardware throughout.
Take note of the unbelievably clear and gloss like finish on our rare 18th century buffet from Nimes. It might appear like the wood is sealed at first glance, but it is not. The buffet surface is “cire rempli”, which is an old and complicated finish used by skilled ebenistes in France… Hard to replicate, but gives a brilliant look when done properly.
CONDITION: Excellent Antique Condition; minor nicks and rubs and old restorations.