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Antique Cabinets - Item 4110
Gothic Buffet Cabinet

Item 4110 - Gothic Cabinet

(scroll down for additional photos -- differences in color are due to flash)
 
Item 4110 Gothic Buffet Cabinet with Fenestrage or Tracery
Dimensions Width 78, Height 112, Depth 21 (in inches)
Wood Solid walnut
Country France
Date Circa 1890
Description

This stunning buffet cabinet reflects the glory of Gothic design at its 19th century best.  Made of exquisite, old-growth walnut, what strikes the viewer first is the richness of the color in the overall, architectural design.  Practical yet supremely artistic, this cabinet's 19th century designer created a masterpiece.  Items this large break down into sections to allow for ease of moving them, and this one is no exception. It consists of three sections, the base cabinet, the next upper section is the main eye level display section, and finally at the top is the Gothic crown mounted above the second section's shelves.
The solid walnut base has four doors that each open to access the single shelf that runs the complete width of the base, with about 11 1/2" from the interior bottom of the cabinet to the shelf and about 11 1/2"
  above the shelf as well. There are three drawers for holding flatware or table linens as well. The doors and drawer-fronts display the hand carved patterns so commonly seen in Gothic design, that recall cathedral windows, and is called fenestrage. The center two doors match each others' carved pattern, while the outside two match each other as well. A horizontal plate stop runs the length of the top, allowing the display by standing up, of treasured plates.
The upper section has two side cabinets with doors, with a single adjustable shelf inside, perhaps for crystal. There are two rails or stops at the back of each 33" wide shelf, for additional plate display. The back panels are carved with traditional gothic designs, and the two door panels are carved with matching fenestrage. The lower portion of this section, just above the base cabinet's top, is composed of 8 linen-fold
  or plis-de-serviette panels, one of the most beloved of Gothic design elements.
The graceful curved and arching crown provides a protective canopy above the shelves of the second section, and displays the upside-down turnings that are called toupies.
  A ring of stylized fleur-de-lys finishes off the top section.
Hinges, locks, and key escutcheons are all original, as are some of the keys. The cabinet is in an exceptional state of conservation, with virtually no scratches, mars, burns or structural problems. The color is a rich dark brown that matches our fireplace and table that were all purchased in Bordeaux and produced by the acclaimed ebenistes (cabinetmakers) Meubles Robert.
It is unlikely that an afficionado of Gothic Revival, who needs a large buffet cabinet, would find a comparable piece of this magnitude and price.  
 

Reference

Boccador, Jacqueline, Le Mobilier Français du Moyen Age à la Renaissance, Editions d'Art Monelle Hayot (Saint-Just-en-Chaussée, 1988); Thirion, Jacques, Le Mobilier du Moyen Age et de la Renaissance en France (Editions Faton, Dijon, 1998); Viollet-le-Duc, Eugène, Le Mobilier Médiéval (Georges Bernage, editor) (Editions Heimdal, 2003)
 

Uses

For lovers of Gothic design, this cabinet has it all, including the plis-de-serviette panels, fenestrage or tracery, Gothic arches and grandeur of proportions.  While designed for use in a dining room, it would command attention and be the focus of any space in which it is placed.
 

 
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4110-left-side
 
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4110-left-top-door

 
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bottom interior
 
4110-plis-de-serviette
 
 

 

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