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French Antique Gothic Revival Buffet Cabinet

Item 9452 by M. Markley Antiques

 

gothic revival buffet cabinet

(scroll down for additional photos  -- difficulties of photographing with flash have accounted for the variation in hues, but the photo above most accurately reflects the color) 

Item 9452

Gothic Revival Cabinet with Fenestrage or Tracery

Dimensions

Width 49, Height 40, Depth 20½ (in inches)

Wood

Solid oak

Country

France

Date

Circa 1870

Price

$ 4,876

Description

This antique buffet cabinet comes from northern France and reflects high gothic stylistic elements such as fenestrage or tracery -- the use of motifs seen in stained glass windows.  The motifs of the central panel are reminiscent of the rose windows used in gothic cathedrals and are especially remarkable for the intricately carving -- a triumph of geometry and carving skills.  Quite unusual is the inner circle representing the Trinity – a circle filled with three tiny  mouchettes or elliptical shapes wound tightly and showcasing the carver’s skills.
The intricacy and grace of these gothic elements lend a lightness and intimacy to the piece similar to that experienced inside the masterworks of Gothic architecture such as the Sainte Chapelle in Paris.

The panels comprising the doors on either side of the central panel (which does not open) are feasts for anyone accustomed to indulging in the banquet of Gothic design.  Particularly interesting are the intricate details of mouchettes and flowers framed by corbels with intricate line motifs and circles evoking the Breton heritage of this cabinet and lending almost a folk art and mystical spirit to the design.

Dating from the19th century when the Gothic revival movement swept through Europe, the cabinet has two doors and two drawers.  Particularly distinctive are the metal drawer pulls in the shape of ermine tails, the symbol of Anne of Brittany (second wife of King Louis XII), who incorporated this motif throughout the Perche aux Bretons wing of the royal chateau at Blois.

In keeping with Gothic Revival design, the sides of the cabinet are each comprised of two linen-fold panels.  These panels are especially rich in their relief and modeling, symbolizing the strength of this design motif beyond any notions of mere filler seen in less enchanting examples of furniture from  the 19th century revival of Gothic style.  For anyone loving Gothic design elements, this is the pièce de résistance.

 

Reference

Ader-Tajan, Collection Bruno Perrier Haute Epoque (Catalog for Sale at Auction on April 6, 1992 at the Hotel Drouot, Paris); Boccador, Jacqueline, Le Mobilier Français du Moyen Age à la Renaissance, Editions d’Art Monelle Hayot (Saint-Just-en-Chaussée, 1988); Charles, Corinne, Victor Hugo, Visions d'Intérieurs, du Meuble au Décor (Paris-Musées, Paris, 2003); Fligny, Laurence, Le Mobilier en Picardie 1200-1700  (Picard Editeur, Paris, 1990)

 

Uses

The cabinet is ideal for a living or dining room, but is also adaptable for a bedroom or study.

 

gothic tracery

Left door

gothic tracery on cabinet

Right Door

 

rose window motif on gothic cabinet

 

detail of gothic tracery

 

central panel

 

detail of right center panel

 

detail of top center panel

 

detail of tracery

 

detail of rose window motif on antique gothic buffet

 

detail of tracery in center

 

drawer with ermine tail pull

 

ermine tail draawer pull

 

drawer detail

 

linenfold panel

detail of linenfold

 

top of gothic buffet cabinet

 

interior of gothic buffet

 

angle

 

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