Item # LFA224
Exceptional 17th century transitional armoire handcrafted by talented artisans from Rennes during the early years of the reign of Louis XIV. The term "transitional" is used to describe furniture that utilizes design aspects from the end of one king's reign with elements created in the next king's reign. This is primarily seen in items that were created and made outside of Paris. In this particular cabinet there is the symmetry and ornamentation that developed during the reign of Louis XIV, but the crown, sides and feet hark back to earlier pieces. The crown, with rows of dentil moulding, sits above a beautifully carved frieze with a central putti. Double doors with intricate raised and recessed panels featuring timeless Louis XIV inspired motifs open wide to reveal three interior shelves and two drawers, raised on flat bun feet. Original hardware and five paneled sides complete the look. This impressive French armoire boasts a beautiful patina and has stood the test of time.
Louis XIV period armoires in this condition are rare and very difficult to find, especially with their original hardware, for it was often removed and melted down for ammunition during the unrest of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
The expense of such a grand armoire was enormous 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. Walnut armoires of an exceptional size like this, were much less common and generally reserved for the very wealthiest families. Today, they are considered the finest examples of the period.
h - 102"
w - 73" with crown; body w - 65"
d - 26"
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