This stunningly elegant Period Louis XV piece can be described in several different ways. It is a classic buffet deux corps, meaning a buffet with “two bodies”. However, it is also a fold out writing desk or in French, a “scriban”, and of course a bookcase (bibliotheque). Tall fold out desks such as this, sometimes incorporated drawers beneath the writing desk, so they would be called a scriban commode. The bottom of this desk has small center drawers and cabinets to either side (a buffet). From Burgundy, this scriban has incredible woods and motifs: from cherrywood to oak to beautiful inlaid burled sections. The wire grills on the upper front cabinets are very thick and original to the piece, which was often the case on bookcases of the 1700s. On the inner portion of the desk area are numerous small drawers and doors, inset with burled walnut wood surrounded with a thin linear blond walnut wood. Hidden behind the cabinet doors to either side of the writing surface are more small drawers. The writing surface itself features a large scrolling M, completely made with insets of tiny blocks of wood. When closed there is a wonderful escutcheon depicting the head of a woman surrounded by various motifs.
The bottom buffet portion features two nicely molded doors which flank three small center drawers. Louis XV linear moldings are on all the pieces. The shaped apron has linear moldings of unusual C and S Scrolls connecting to each other in unusual ways with a decorative foliate center piece. The sides have raised panels with linear moldings having interesting motifs on them, such as a leaf attached to the end of a scroll. All this rests upon four unusually carved turned feet beneath leaves. At the front they are two scrolls stacked on top of each other: the bottom scroll belonging to the front facing molding, while the top scroll begins the molding on the sides. The back feet are the end of a linear scroll. The back portions of the sides are made of oak, evidence that it was likely fitted into a paneled room.
The carving on this Period Louis XV Scriban is phenomenal but not ostentatious. It is very subtle, yet interesting and different than other 18th century pieces. There are two keys and locks that are original.
CONDITION: Commensurate with age of early 1700’s: Old restorations, abrasions, minor losses to motifs, old minor scratches, traces of old wood worm.