This unique buffet deux corps was hand-carved from walnut wood in France during the Louis XIII period (1600’s). A buffet deux corps (literally “two body buffet”) is a two-tiered cabinet where the upper section sits on top of a wider lower section.
Deux corps buffets gained popularity in various regions of France during the reign of Louis XIII. Furniture from this period was often geometrically shaped with turned columns and thick, prominent moldings. Three of the heavier types of molding were tas de sable (“sandpit”), pointe de gâteau (“cake slice”), and pointe de diamant (“diamond point”), all of which were utilized on this deux corp. Usually an ebeniste would carve one, sometimes two of these moldings, but it is rare to find a piece of furniture incorporating all three.
The upper body of our deux corps has a stepped cornice, featuring an astounding 16 layers of molding. Beneath the crown is a door adorned with pointe de gateau ornamentation and a sinuous keyplate, surrounded by cavetto molding. The door, which is flanked by two turned half-columns, opens on iron hinges to reveal a full-length shelf. Both sides have raised panels with diamond point motifs and the base has several layers of molding along the front and sides.
Two layers of molding grace the top of the lower body. In between is a drawer with beige velour lining and an iron pull and keyplate. The drawer is surrounded by molding and flanked by two vertically oriented tas de sable panels. Similar panels, although horizontally positioned, are seen on each of the sides. Beneath the lower tier of molding is a second door that opens to reveal another full-length shelf. Just like the upper body door, this door is flanked by two turned half-columns. There are also two vertical tas de sable panels to the inside of each column and the door is embellished with a diamond point panel, also seen on each side. The lower body is finished with a thickly molded socle on top of two bun feet in the front and a pair of block feet in the back.
Our lovely walnut buffet a deux corps from 17th century France is narrower than some of the examples that were produced in later centuries, making it easier to place. It is the rare type of furniture that despite its great age, it remains in good, solid condition and can be actively used on a daily basis. Its patina is wonderful, and we have recently revived it with a fresh coat of French wax.
CONDITION: Wear commensurate to age and use, with old fills and repairs. Minor losses resulting from old wood worm. Three keys included (one for each door + one for the drawer), which activate functioning locks. Light stains to the beige velour lining of the drawer.
H - 88, W - 48 5/8, D - 28 1/2
17th Century French Walnut Wood Buffet Deux Corps
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