This cabinet of the Fontainebleau school comes from a castle in the Loire Valley. Attributed to the Ribaillier house, the founder of which repeatedly supplies the Emperor Napoleon III, its typically Bellifontaine architectural structure gives pride of place to allegorical decorations and hides dozens of secrets.
In richly carved molded walnut and green veined white marble, this particularly original credenza has an upper body decorated with faces and characters from Roman mythology. Two pairs of open, sculpted columns sculpted with vine branches frame niches in which two removable statuettes take place. As in the lower part, these ancient figures play musical instruments, here the lyre and the lute. The leaf in the center presents a female allegory of autumn.
In the lower part there are allegorical Roman figures carved in relief, the faces of cherubs, the lion's muzzle. The whole is animated by fluted columns with Corinthian capitals. The lower leaf is decorated with Ceres, goddess of agriculture and summer.
At the top, the broken pediment is decorated with a green marble cabochon guarded by two caryatids facing each other and two female telamons on the side. Finally, a pair of large, thick carved figures rest on roll-up consoles.
This credenza has no less than 23 openings including many secret drawers. Most of the elements have been arranged for an original purpose of concealed opening. This is particularly the case with leaves framed by columns in the upper part, each hiding 4 small drawers.
Provenance: Castle of the Loire Valley. This cabinet is attributed to Maison Ribaillier. Pierre Ribaillier, supplier of Napoleon III, cabinetmaker and antique dealer worked in the mid-19th century. His furniture of exceptional quality led him to participate in the Universal Exhibition of 1855. He then received the silver medal for one of his creations, which was then acquired by The Emperor Napoleon III himself. Subsequently, the Emperor placed him with numerous official orders, notably for the Château de Saint Cloud.
The furniture from Maison Ribaillier is original, renowned and of excellent quality. Ribaillier does not hesitate to use essences, wood, locks from the 17th century as can be seen in the photos. This original piece of furniture is a tribute to the cabinets of the Renaissance Fontainebleau school. This Bellifontain art in vogue at the court of François Ier is characterized by its architectural inspiration drawn from the Italian Renaissance. The prime decorative effect and the representation of the seasons is one of the favorite themes of the Bellifontaine school.
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