Rare wardrobe in daffodil-lacquered lime-wood opening with two leaves on the front and a drawer inside.
Model decorated in "lacca povera" with cut, colored and pasted engravings.
The engravings representing the four seasons in the guise of goddesses framed with wreaths of wheat sheaves and gallant scenes.
The uprights and high crosspieces decorated with beams, cypresses, scenes of castle parks, cornucopias, orange trees, Medici vases, fruits ...
The simulating sides of the blue and red moldings decorated with park scenes.
The interior, which is still decorated with its original wallpaper, has a central gallery of two drawers decorated using the same process and two shelves, one of which is flared for storing hats in the upper part.
The engravings of bucolic scenes after the works of Antoine Watteau (1684-1721) and Jean Cotelle (1646-1708)
Lacks in the decorations, maintenance restorations, discoloration and wear of the engravings.
Work of the Duchy of Uzès around 1700-1720.
Height: 192cm; Width: 109 cm; Depth: 50 cm
Our opinion :
First of all, it seems important to us to specify that the wardrobe that we are presenting has kept its original decor made in Provence at the beginning of the 18th century.
It is not a later overdecorated cabinet or any other copy.
The "lacca povera" or "arte povera", literally "poor art" was born in Italy in the region of Venice.
Originally it was to imitate oriental lacquers at a lower cost, that is to say by cutting engravings by coloring them and sticking them on a wooden support previously coated with lacquer, all covered with '' a dozen layers of sandaraque (resin from a cypress), which allows the thickness of the engravings to be filled and protected.
The variety of patterns and colors gives free rein to the most varied decors.
If at first the goal is to imitate and make less expensive pieces of this type, very quickly this production meets a considerable success and becomes the prerogative of the greatest collectors.
If Italy concentrates the majority of workshops practicing lacca povera or lacca contrafatta as it was called at the time, a small production center was born in the region of Uzès at the end of the 17th century.
They are probably the origin of Italian artists passing through Provence and who encountered all the ingredients necessary for the establishment of a workshop which logically led them to settle.
In fact, tradition dictated that the parents and in-laws of the bride and groom offer as a wedding gift a very sculpted wardrobe, with the attributes of love, fertility, etc.
The close presence of the Cévennes and small workshops producing tiny white wooden cupboards intended for small rooms in the Cévennes mas is also another considerable asset.
Indeed what could be better and cheaper than a small wardrobe with doors and flat sides and without any molding, once decorated this type of room was to generate a considerable profit.
It is therefore likely that this production was very abundant in the first part of the 18th century and spread throughout the south of France.
But due to its fragility and the non-possibility for the uninitiated to restore the decor alone, very few cabinets of this type have reached us.
The surviving models are simply museum pieces.
A very close model formerly in our gallery, for other cabinets in the same workshop and presenting the same decor:
Page 47 of the book "Decorative arts in Provence from the XVII th to the XIX th century" MJ Beaumelle, Aix en Provence 1993.
l Sotheby’s Paris sale on March 23, 2006 lot 36: 55,200 euros
Massol study sale December 14, 2007 l: 38,415 euros.
Price : on request
Price : on request