Item # LFA280
18th century Louis XV period chateau armoire handcrafted of solid walnut by talented country cabinet makers in the Lyon region, renown in the 1700s for its superior production of armoires. Circa 1750s. This stately provincial armoire features a boldly sculpted chapeau de gendarme cornice above an intricately carved frieze with a central rocaille (Rococo shell) cartouche and foliate tendrils. Paneled doors with beautifully carved center medallions open to reveal three interior shelves. Scalloped apron rests on short cabriole legs ending in pied de biche (hoof foot).
One of the most significant features of fine Provincial armoires are the locks and hinges. Because these cupboards were a very important part of the household, little expense was spared in outfitting them with the finest hardware. Ornate hinges, elaborately scrolled escutcheons and even the keys with intricate scrolling designs were an integral part of the overall design of the armoire. Often, the hinges, lock and key cost more to produce than the armoire itself.
An armoire of this exceptional size was very expensive and often served as an indication of a family's wealth and social standing. Most French Provincial armoires were crafted of oak since it was a readily available resource, so walnut armoires such as this were much less common and generally reserved for the very wealthiest families. Today, they are considered the finest examples of the period.
h - 103"
w - 64"
d - 26.5"
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