This striking black bookcase was made in the Louis XIII style, during the period of Napoleon III in France. It has been constructed of carved and ebonized wood, and has its original gilt bronze hardware, locks, and keys. The upper portion is open, and the 3 shelves are covered in a cream colored silk, with white motifs. The lower buffet portion of the piece has 3 drawers atop 2 doors. The facade is decorated with two cartouches containing bas relief carved mascarons, and in between the two lower doors is an atlas figure atop a floral bouquet. Two more carved mascarons flank either side of the drawers, and even the center drawer is decorated with a gilt key plate escutcheon in the form of a fantastical figure. The doors open to two more silk covered shelves.
Both upper and lower sections have beautifully turned Louis XIII columns. The crown has well carved scrolling foliation, centered by a figure of a man. The entire piece sits on front bun feet and block feet in the rear. This bibliotheque buffet deux corps from France has a unusual, yet very practical form. Its unique motifs and rich black coloration are perfectly offset by the gilt bronze hardware and silk covered shelves. This contrast of black and gold was often seen during he Napoleon III period, but usually only in very formal and intricate inlaid pieces. Today, this handsome French bookcase buffet will make quite a statement anywhere it is placed.
CONDITION: Good overall condition with old worming to parts of front and sides. Minor nicks, abrasions, and finish variations as seen in photos.
H - 99 1/8, W - 60 3/4, D - 25
Ebonized French Napoleon III Open Bookcase with Turned Columns, Circa 1860
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