From the 1600’s, this rare, large scale, light oak, hand carved sacristy cabinet once held sacred objects of a catholic church in France. The Parisian family who owned it most recently, have supplied black and white photos showing the piece in a Paris apartment in the 1800s. It is incredibly well carved with an abundance of detail, and overall, it is in very good condition. The beautiful overall shape of the front is bombe (outward curving). Two beautifully carved acanthus leaf S-Scrolls are at the upper corners while acanthus leaf C and S Scrolls are repeated at the corners of the bottom. The acanthus leaf, in short, represents immortality and is seen in abundance throughout this magnificent cabinet.
The upper middle section of the cabinet has large C scrolls which support cherub’ heads at the corners. Their foliate wings are draped over and in front of the scrolls. Between the cherubs, the acanthus decorations meet in the middle to show a fantastic central crown. Beneath this is a curved door, carved with detailed floral, foliate and shell motifs. The door opens to an antique fabric lined space, where most of the sacred objects were stored. There is a lock and key on the door. Beneath this is a small drawer with a stylized shell and scrolling acanthus leaves with flowers. An iron handle in the form of a drop is at the center.
The bottom set of acanthus leaf motifs are S-Scrolls at the corners. Its frontage has a cherub’s head with wings beneath. A festoon of grape leaves and dozens of grapes is attached over the cherub’s head with a keyhole at the top. It drapes down and up connecting with the scrolls on either side. When there is space beneath the cabinet (not flat on a table top), the large bottom drawer pulls out and down revealing another opening. The back is unfinished.
This is a rare work of art and a beautiful example of fine French wood carving and cabinet making in the 17th century.
CONDITION: Very good antique condition. Minor losses of wood, age separations, minor abrasions, door is a little loose, but is in good working order. All commensurate with age being in the 1600’s.
H=49 3/8, W=33 1/2, D=20 1/2
Rare Large Scale 17th Century Oak Sacristy Cabinet from France