This is a stunning antique Dutch Floral Marquetry Armoire, c. 1780 in date. It has been accomplished in burr walnut with exquisite floral marquetry decoration, and masterfully hand carved mouldings. The drawer linings are of solid oak, it stands on it's original hand carved lion's paw feet and the handles and escutcheons are also original. The beautiful doors open to reveal a fully fitted interior with shelves and small drawers. The base has three large and capacious drawers which provide abundant space to store your finest items. This exceptional piece represents a fantastic example of 18th century Dutch cabinetry at its finest. I purchased this fabulous piece from Ashwick Court the beautiful late 17th Century Grade II listed house at Ashwick, Oak Hill, near Bath, for which it was reputedly commissioned. Condition: Original and untouched - remarkable for its age. Dimensi ons in cm: Height 230 x Width 170 x Depth 63 Dimensions in inches: Height 90.6 x Width 66.9 x Depth 24.8 Armoire is a tall, freestanding cabinet with doors that hide shelves and drawers. This piece of furniture in its present form was devised by the French in the 17th century. The armoire is a derived from the humble chest, and the name comes from the Latin word "armorium" which was a chest for storing armor. Originally an armoire was used to store armor and weapons. Armoires were used to store personal belongings and treasures, which is why they were so massive in size. Tapestries, rugs, clothing and any and all belongings could be stored in armoires. Modern uses include storing personal items such as clothes, but today armoires often serve as entertainment centers, and for computer/home office storage. Burr Walnut refers to the swirling figure present in nearly all walnut when cut and polished, and especially in the wood taken from the base of the tree where it joins the roots. However the true burr is a rare growth on the tree where hundreds of tiny branches have started to grow. Burr walnut produces some of the most complex and beautiful figuring you can find. Marquetry is decorative artistry where pieces of material (such as wood, mother of pearl, pewter, brass silver or shell) of different colours are inserted into surface wood veneer to form intricate patterns such as scrolls or flowers. The technique of veneered marquetry had its inspiration in 16th century Florence. Marquetry elaborated upon Florentine techniques of inlaying solid marble slabs with designs formed of fitted marbles, jaspers and semi-precious stones. This work, called opere di commessi, has medieval parallels in Central Italian "Cosmati"-work of inlaid marble floors, altars and columns. The technique is known in English as pietra dura, for the "hardstones" used: onyx, jasper, cornelian, lapis lazuli and colored marbles. In Florence, the Chapel of the Medici at San Lorenzo is completely covered in a colored marble facing using this demanding jig-sawn technique. Techniques of wood marquetry were developed in Antwerp and other Flemish centers of luxury cabinet-making during the early 16th century. The craft was imported full-blown to France after the mid-seventeenth century, to create furniture of unprecedented luxury being made at the royal manufactory of the Gobelins, charged with providing furnishings to decorate Versailles and the other royal residences of Louis XIV. Early masters of French marquetry were the Fleming Pierre Golle and his son-in-law, André-Charles Boulle, who founded a dynasty of royal and Parisian cabinet-makers (ébénistes) and gave his name to a technique of marquetry employing tortoiseshell and brass with pewter in arabesque or intricately foliate designs. Ashwick Court is Grade II* listed house on Heckley Lane northwest of Ashwick, in Mendip district, eastern Somerset, England, which is adjacent to the Church of St James. It is a country house, dating from the late 17th century and became a listed building on 2 June 1961. Judge Jeffries tried cases at Ashwick Court during the Bloody Assizes following the Monmouth Rebellion in 1685. The house was owned by the Strachey Baronets, before it was let to Dr Newton Wade in 1892 who thought he had discovered oil in the water well. Alterations were added to the property in the 18th and mid-19th century. The house stands in 48.5 acres (19.6 ha) of attached parkland and has its own tennis court.
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