Early 19th Century French Country Louis XV Style Bleached Oak Normandy Wedding Armoire
French Country Louis XV style bleached armoire de mariage, circa early 1800s, handcrafted of French oak near Saint-Lô, a commune in the Normandy region. This beautiful 19th century wedding or marriage armoire features symbolic carvings typical of marriage pieces from Saint-Lô. The refinement, which even includes hearts in the iron escutcheons, exudes a rare elegance specific to castle pieces in the Basse-Normandie region. The large flat, carved and moulded cornice sits atop a frieze carved with sunflowers featuring a pair of intricately carved love birds surrounded by grape clusters on the vine in bas relief. The finely carved doors having raised center panels feature additional symbolic carvings and are flanked by half round corner posts with carved acanthus leaves. The serpentine apron with drapery carvings rests on short cabriole legs having acanthus leaves carvings. The interior reveals a very spacious storage compartment with three shelves.
According to French tradition, the wedding armoire was ordered by a father when his daughter was born. It was typically hand carved with symbols of wealth and prosperity, and given to a girl during adolescence. As the girl grew up, she would fill it with her trousseau, clothing for Sundays, everyday dresses, lingerie and embroidered linens that she had prepared with initials of her future family. She would take it with her to her new home after she was wed.
The carvings on this fine armoire include lovebirds evoking love, flowers representing fertility, pairs of nesting doves symbolizing the “nest,” and wheat sheaves and grape vines describing abundance and domestic prosperity.
h - 95"
w - 68.75" with crown; body w - 58.5"
d - 19.5"
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TAGS: French Country, Louis XV Wedding Armoire, Armoire de Mariage, Antique French Wedding Armoire, Marriage Armoire, Bleached Armoire,Saint-Lo, Lovebirds, Hand Carved, Trousseau, Armoires