19th Century French Henri II Style Walnut Storage Hall Bench with Leather Lift Top Seat
A 19th century French Henri II style solid walnut hall banc or bench, having a spindled back with finials between each spindle, curved arms, and leather lift top seat with brass nailhead trim that doubles as the lid for the enclosed storage are below, circa 1880s. Retaining the storage characteristics of benches descended from chests or coffres, this handsome bench has a paneled front and sides. Raised on a plinth base.
The bench or banc is one of the oldest types of furniture and traces its lineage to the chest or coffre. With the addition of a backrest and arms, the chest became a bench, keeping its storage feature with the seat flipping up to reveal the container that was once the fundamental purpose of a chest. Heavily carved benches draped with tapestries or covered in luxurious pillows were found in entry halls of chateaux, used in bedrooms, often near the fire to block drafts and increase warmth, and also used at tables for meals in the main hall of a chateau.
While ideal in an entryway or foyer, this antique French bench would also work well in a kitchen or mudroom where its versatility as a storage space and place to put on or take off shoes and boots would also be appreciated. In very good condition, the bench is heavy, sturdy, and ready for another century of use.
back h - 40.5"; seat h - 19"
arm h - 29.5"
w - 54.75 "
seat d - 17"; overall d - 19"
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TAGS: 19th Century French Henri II Walnut Storage Hall Bench with Leather Lift Top Seat, Antique French Henri II Bench , Antique French Lift Seat Bench, Henri II, Benches