18th Century French Louis XV-Louis XVI Transition Period Walnut Bordelaise Armoire
A monumental 18th century French Louis XV-Louis XVI Transition period solid walnut chateau armoire handcrafted by skilled artisans from the Bordeaux region of France, circa 1750s, having a chapeau de gendarme crown sitting atop a hand carved frieze. The carved inset molded panel doors are divided by fluted panels and have a central fluted pilaster stile. Doors open to reveal a spacious interior storage compartment with two shelves and two drawers. Carved, shaped apron raised on short cabriole legs ending in scrolled French toes on pegs. All original hardware. The crown, shaped, carved apron, and short cabriole legs feature timeless Louis XV inspired elements, in contrast with the neoclassic fluted carving on the doors and stile, which are typical Louis XVI period motifs. The wonderful, rich walnut color and deep lustrous patina add to the beauty.
Massive walnut armoires such as this were generally reserved for the very wealthiest families and this impressive Bordelaise armoire with its warm, rich patina, would have been prominently featured in a fine chateau. Because armoires were a very important part of the French household, little expense was spared in outfitting them with the finest hardware. Elaborate escutcheons, long ornate hinges, and even the keys 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. In addition, those that retain their original hardware are incredibly scarce, for it was often removed and melted down for ammunition during the unrest of the late 18th and early 19th centuries.
Most Transition period pieces were created outside Paris by Provincial cabinet makers and combined design elements used during Louis XV's reign (1723-1774) with Louis XVI (1774-1792) motifs in the same piece. When Louis XVI assumed the throne in 1774 after his father's death, Rococo tendencies and Baroque excess were no longer popular. A movement was underway that favored the clean, straight lines of the neoclassical style.
h - 108"
w - 65"
d - 26.25"
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TAGS: 18th Century French Louis XV-Louis XVI Transition Period Walnut Bordelaise Armoire, Louis XV - Louis XVI Transition Period Armoire, Transition Period, Provincial Armoire, Armoires