Delightful antique French Napoleon III era or earlier hand made 27.75" table top vitrine, in the shape of a miniature wardrobe or armoire, entirely hand carved walnut with cabriolet style legs, shaped glass door insert and side panels and refinished interior with two glass shelves and cream moire silk-like fabric! Aren't these great! Not only are they wonderful little pieces of decorative Bru doll sized furniture but they also make fabulous display vitrines for your prized smalls! This Napoleon III era miniature would have been the delight of some doll owner or collector, but it's likely original purpose was to show the skills of an apprentice to a master cabinetry maker, or 'ebeniste' of the last half of 1800s. The items of miniature furniture like this, almost to exclusion of all, were miniaturized furnishings popular in the time they were made, and were projects to show mastery of different furniture making skills. The hardware is often one of a kind hand made/cast and we see fine details like dovetails on the drawers, superb exotic veneers, each section hand hewn and put together to the student's design. A Master could then evaluate the work, move an apprentice up the skills set as warranted. These served something like a semester's final exam, of sorts. Now, of course, these old pieces are wonderful and sought after to group on a buffet top, or to house and show off collections of small, and of course the doll collectors beg for them, as well. These can accent display of your own Bru or other French or European dolls. Aren't they fun! Immense visual & decorative appeal! Don't miss it!
Very good condition. The walnut framework is simply fabulous, only a bit of something in the upper rear of the right side (where the walnut meets the arched top). Also, the back wood panel shows quite a bit of age, some bug holes but nothing active. The curved top of the armoire is in black papier mache, not wood, and has a bit of edge & corner roughening. As noted, the interior has been relined in a cream moire silk style fabric, not actually silk, and the glass shelves were professionally cut to shape with sanded edges. The only other thing worth mentioning is that, at some point, someone used a wood putty something to secure the front glass in the outer door frame and matched the color (mostly) with a wood stain. See pictures for all measurements.
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