Important richly decorated hand-carved 18th-century traditional French Provincial oak cabinet, credenza, sideboard, server, cupboard, enfilade or buffet of generous proportions. Often referred during this time period as meubles or “movables”. The piece features a handmade serpentine scalloped rouge pink or red marble top above a hand-carved three-door rectangular case piece. Both the base and marble top are in fluid serpentine shape. A beautiful piece with a warm rich patina. The large size, linear design with the decorative panels. Grand in scale, this buffet provides ample storage.
With a scalloped pink marble top, this is a rare survivor from the late 18th century. Atop the beautiful rectangular oak base, rests the pink rouge bullnose marble top. The marble thickness is 1.75” thick and in a scalloped serpentine shape. The serpentine top is in pink variegated marble with a molded edge. The marble top is a single slab of marble in pale pink, white and grey. Often referred to as Payolle Rose Vert or Rouge Beccia, and is original to the buffet. The marble with conforming serpentine form features a hand-shaped molded edge. The beautiful serpentine rouge marble top sits atop the rectangular case base.
The base of the cabinet is made of oak and reveals the significant historical age of this piece. And a great example of the carpentry and woodworking during this period. With recessed molded fretwork, front paneled doors and nature-themed carvings such as fern and shell detail, all below a rouge pink royal marble top. Round corner post rests on each side, with boiserie that will add traditional charm to any room.
The three beautiful richly intricately carved historically accurate carvings adorn panel hinged doors. Iron keyhole escutcheons, hidden hinges and accented with top foliate carvings. All original. Each door features a scalloped picture frame carved panel molding on each door. These trim moldings highlight this piece throughout as well as floral fern carvings. The side panels, are stepped out from the body and are exaggerated so they are noticed but not in line with either side. Accented by crisp floral and foliage carvings. Fleur de Lis carvings can be seen in the corners, which are used to date pieces that were commissioned for the nobility during this time period. The serpentine frame features deep carved designs in the French Provincial taste on all exposed sides. This cupboard or cellarette showcases motifs from the period which adorn the front and sides. The paneled doors are held closed with a metal paneled latch.
The bottom of the credenza is wonderfully constructed of solid wood. With the original grain visible. Hand pegged joinery and in a fantastic patina which only comes with age. Undulating curves exhibited on this buffet were challenging to accomplish. Foliate accents interspersed throughout. The case rests atop 6 block-shaped or bracket foot feet. The outside in a rounded design. The rectangular shape has been enhanced with rounded edges and moldings on the front and sides softening any severity. The ornamentation is all hand-carved. All below the original pink molded edge serpentine scalloped pink rouge royale marble top. The original hand-forged hardware is a plus, as often hardware is changed out over the years.
As France moved out of the middle ages, life became more stable. The French people realized they could stay in their homes for generations. Craftsmen began creating immovable pieces that could be anchored to the walls but were still moveable if needed. As such, the back of this credenza features fasteners for bolting to the wall. A necessary option for such a large heavy piece. Carvings always tell the story of the time period. Fleur-de-lis carvings can be seen in the corners, which are used to date pieces that were commissioned for the nobility during this time period. Marble of this time period was a laborious material to find. It often meant that it would be found outside of France, and taken by horse and chariot to the menuisiers (also known as ebenistes) or cabinet makers shop. During this short period, French craftsmen loosened their strict adherence to the classical forms the tyrannical Louis XIV adored and looked elsewhere for inspiration.
This very handsome Enfilade from 18th century France will be a great decorative choice for any living room, dining room, foyer, bedroom or for use as a media cabinet or console. Or really any place in a home and add the perfect focal point. For those hoping to achieve a timeless classic look which also serves as a functional piece. The capacious interior and generous surface only add to its appeal. This piece will add an elegant touch to any home and add extra surface space and storage to any room. As with all antiques, this piece has survived over numerous historical periods and is part of a family's history. We look forward to this piece going to a home that will build on the history of this piece and join in the tradition of creating a family heirloom for centuries to come.
The credenza comes from the Italian word "belief". In the 16th century, the act of "credenza" entailed the tasting of one's food by a servant to ensure it was not poisoned.