Very beautiful Sumène * cabinet in solid walnut opening with two leaves on the front.
Doors with twelve carved panels, the first and last row with acanthus leaves and animals.
The middle row depicting human figures symbolizing the four seasons, two women holding in their arms flowers and sheaves of wheat symbolizing spring and summer, on the left door, and on the right door a woman under a trellis holding bunches of grapes for the fall and an old man warming himself in front of a brazier for the winter.
The uprights richly carved with garlands of fruit falls.
The high crosspiece featuring a frieze adorned with puttos in acanthus scrolls and in the middle two cherubs holding a count's crown with nine rows of pearls above a coat of arms, and finally two faces of chubby cherubs positioned as spandrels at 45 degrees complete the crossing.
Above, the dentil cornice supports a pediment with large cut sides decorated with foliage and surmounted by two dragons; in the center a niche surrounded by two twisted columns * contains a statuette of Joseph holding Christ in his arms. *
The sides with six-panel shelves.
Very good state of conservation.
Languedocian work from the Louis XIV period around 1650.
Height: 250 cm; Width: 176 cm; Depth: 65cm
Provenance: Chateau Héraultais
Three cabinets of this type decorated with the four seasons but having lost their pediment are known:
-Vigan museum of the Cévennes valleys
-Pézenas Vulliot-Saint Germain museum
-Chateau d´Espeyran-Saint Gilles (Gard)
The figured cabinets of the lower Languedoc; Library of trades and museum of old Nîmes by M.Nougarède, P.Tararieux, L.Puech, D. Travier and A.Cheval
* This type of cabinet took the name Sumène cabinet after it was discovered in this village in the Gard. of a copy signed by a local carpenter (Jacques Bres) and dated 1688.
It is probably a late variant of the original models whose production center is still unknown to us, some historians opt for Pézenas, others for Nîmes see for the Cévennes, in particular the region of Alès-Anduze where were discovered many copies.
* The twisted columns surrounding the niche symbolize the columns of the temple of Solomon.
* Unlike the classic iconography of the virgin with child, the representation of Joseph here tells us that he is the natural father of Jesus, in accordance with Protestant beliefs.
Our opinion :
Of this mysterious cupboard of which we still know very little.
Indeed if we are more or less certain that it was produced in Languedoc in the middle of the 17th century, we still do not know the location of the original workshop.
With a powerful architecture, an opulent size and rich sculptures we know that these rooms were reserved for an elite of the Languedoc nobility in order to furnish the ceremonial rooms of their castles.
Our cabinet, of the greatest rarity, bears the Comtale coat of arms which could enlighten us on its origin.
Price : on request
Price : on request