During the 1600’s, buffet deux corps were preferred pieces of furniture in French homes. These two-bodied cabinets allowed for storage of fine serving pieces and linens in kitchens or dining rooms.
Deux corps, such as ours, that were produced during the reign of Louis XIII were often geometrically shaped with thick, prominent moldings. Each of the four square doors feature heavy molding surrounding pointe de gâteau (“cake slice”) carvings. The doors open on iron hinges, with a full-length shelf on the top body; the lower section does not have a shelf.
A large cornice with step molding graces the top of the upper body. Below this is a crenellated border and carved winged cherub heads, one on each edge, with a third in the center. Aligned beneath the central head is raised and molded pilaster. The base of the upper body consists of two drawers with iron pulls, which are separated from the doors by a horizontal molding. The iron pulls and the door keyplates were crafted in the shape of mythical creatures.
The lower body has been carved in a similar fashion to the narrower upper body. The two drawers at the top of this section are wider than the ones above, as are the two doors. At the base is a thickly molded socle above two large bun feet in the front and two block feet in the back.
Our 17th century walnut buffet has been given a fresh coat of French wax, allowing the lovely patina to shine. The buffet has an interesting arrangement of two levels of drawers separating the upper and lower doors, which is not often seen. This grand storage piece would make a great addition to any dining room.
CONDITION: Strong overall antique condition with wear commensurate to age and use, including old wood worm resulting in minor losses. Light buildup and separations with old fills and professional repairs. Each of the four doors has its own key that activates a functioning lock. Please see photos.