After Napoleon came to power in the early 19th century, France resumed the expansionist policy enjoyed by the First French Colonial Empire after the 16th century. The Napoleon-led overseas reign, known as the Second French Colonial Empire, controlled vast regions in the Caribbean and Africa. These doors were originally hand-carved as entry doors (circa 1890) for one of these French territories.
Tall (107 inches or just under nine feet) and well-carved, the doors have a unique off-white and cream hue thanks to commensurate age losses to the finish. A large crest comprised of three scrolls enveloping a lozenge-patterned background and a leaf cup can be seen above a shaped opening surrounded by thick ogee molding. Set within the “window” is an elaborate ironwork of scrolls, leaves, and bars forming an open lattice.
Much of the original hardware remains, including a knocker on the right door in the shape of a fist gripping a roundel. Large, geometric iron handles are affixed beneath the lattice, rising from a shaped protruding molding. Beneath the handle is a raised cartouche of a segmented ovate leaf surrounding a cabochon, set within multiple layers of molding and surmounting a stepped kick plate. Our French Colonial doors would make fantastic entry doors to an interior courtyard, wine cellar, or between interior rooms.
CONDITION: Good antique condition, with minor age separations, nicks, and losses to the original finish. Traces of old restoration work including fills and reinforcements using more recent screws. Some oxidation to the iron hardware. Missing pintle hinges, but most hardware is still present.