walnut benches in a Gothic design, like most French walnut Gothic pieces, are
rare these days and so this piece was of special interest to us. The condition
is outstanding, nothing missing, or even re-glued, and as sturdy as if it had
just come out of the creator's workshop.
are plis de serviette or linenfold panels in the front that are framed by
vertical stiles carved in the diagonal manner that recalls the Francois I
pattern of the Gien faience first produced in 1875. Each stile has a slightly
different design reflecting the design rule from medieval times, that no two
elements could be exactly alike, because only God could create a perfect copy.
side end of the seating box or coffer, are also linenfold panels flanked by
carved columns in a motif that mimics the vertical stiles of the front. The
same style of column is repeated in the supports for each of the arms.
of the arms, and portions of the of the vertical back support stiles that
surround more linenfold panels, are carved in an overlapping scale motif that
displays both creativity and intricacy. The tall side rails (stiles) that frame
the back are topped with large scale (almost 6" tall) three-dimensional
fleurs-de-lys and provide support and structural integrity for the intricate,
pierced fenestrage (resembling cathedral windows), that connect them. This
sturdy design is probably the reason none of this fragile carving work is
damaged and remains completely intact after all these years.
walnut seat lifts to allow access for modest storage. It has small bun feet in the front that support the main body.