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 Antique Cabinets - Item 4160
Gothic
Stand or Display Cabinet

Item 4160-gothic-stand

(scroll down for additional photos  -- difficulties of photographing with flash have accounted for the variation in hues, but the photo above most accurately reflects the color)
 

Item 4160

Gothic Stand or Small Display Cabinet

Dimensions

Width 15, Height 44, Depth 15 (in inches)

Wood

Solid oak

Country

France

Date

Circa 1880

Description

This small stand epitomizes 19th century re-thinking of Gothic furniture from medieval times.  In the earlier era, furniture had a decorative role but also a security one - to be large and heavy enough, and fortified with locks, so that valuables such as textiles and jewelry could be protected from thieves.  A stand such as this one would not have been created because it is purely decorative and easily carted off.  That 19th century craftsmen lived in an arguably safer age and produced smaller pieces of furniture for a multitude of purposes gave rise to this piece and others we offer.
What attracted us to this stand was the refinement of the carving and the rich array of Gothic elements on display.
  For example, the cusped arches framing the openings are magnificently carved, using multiple sub-arches above the springing line (the junction of the arch and its vertical supports) to make the basic, pointed arch more decorative and ornamental.  The main arch of the top part of the stand is divided into six while that on the bottom is broken into eight, giving the arches a feel of elaborate tracery (fenestrage) having been cut away and leaving an open space to display other objects.  The arches themselves are in the pointed, ogee shape used in Gothic cathedrals, but the "S" curve, distinguishing the ogee from other pointed arches, is ever so subtle as to be almost imperceptible.
The spandrels or areas between the exterior of the arches and the right angles of the rectangle framing each arch are filled with mouchettes or elongated ellipses further divided into multiple lobes.
In keeping with Gothic architecture, the twisted columns forming the outer corners of the front are topped by pinnacles that are "crocketed" or ornamented with tiny, bent foliage motifs as seen atop Gothic cathedrals.
  They  terminate just before the top of the stand, which extends out beyond the sides that support it.
The two sides of the stand have open arches on the lower part, identical to the front of the stand.
  Enclosing the upper part of the stand on both sides is a highly detailed rendering of Gothic tracery whose design is a departure from the norm.  Rather than a basic composition in which the overall rectangular shape of the side panel encloses a Gothic arch in which further arches and tracery are carved, there is no main arch.  Instead, there are four lancet arches at the bottom of the panel surmounted by tear-dropped-shaped lobes enclosing quatrefoils with a floral shape at their center.
Clearly, the maker of this stand sought to design something modern and useful while incorporating his own vision of the Gothic design vocabulary in this tiny masterpiece.
 

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

This stand is ideal for use in displaying items such as ceramics, bronzes - not only in the upper and lower parts framed by arches but also on top.
 

4160-stand-upper 


4160-stand-lower 

 

4160-stand-corner detail
 
4160-stand-spandrel
 
4160-stand-front
 
4160-stand-top
 
4160-stand-column
 

 

 

 

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