Exceptional wedding armoire from the Bayeux region, made of very richly carved oak mesh or "merrain", known as from the plain of Caen.
2.48 m high and 1.57 m wide (1.91 m at the cornice), with bouquets of truly exceptional sizes, this cabinet delivers power and opulence at first glance. If it represents the standard of the most beautiful specimens of the Bessin, its central bouquet (with extraordinary dimensions) makes it a sovereign cupboard among the other models of Calvados (and we will say without exaggeration that it is necessary to see not one hundred but one thousand of them to discover one similar).
The plain of Caen, which forms part of the Bessin, is a fertile region, very rich in limestone, which has favored the development of "large-scale farming" and breeding (of horses in particular) structured in very large farms. From the beginning of the 19th century, this region, in contrast to the bocage, but rather compared to the plateau of the Pays de Caux, was in a way the Norman Beauce. Thus the farms covered on average more than 50 hectares and sometimes much more, the buildings had the appearance of real manor-fortresses, some of them very old were born from the withdrawal of large landowners of the nobility.
The oak mesh is obtained, contrary to the pitsawing, by cutting the tree into quarters. It requires hundred-year-old trees without defects and induces more losses since the sawing is not parallel (similar to the quarters of an orange). Although more expensive, it has the advantage of being both lighter and more solid, but above all it appears much more beautiful when waxed or varnished. The best workshops in Normandy specialize in the manufacture of furniture in stave oak.
The Museum of Normandy (Caen Castle) has a very rich cabinet, which would have originated in St-Martin-de-Sallen (this is of course the place of discovery and not of manufacture, located below Thury-Harcourt, just on the western edge of the Caen plain, longitudinally between Bayeux and Caen but a little further south), a cabinet that we reproduce in documentation with another of our old collections. If both can be considered among the most imposing known, the cabinet we present here exceeds them in opulence and volume, and with it the expression "built like a Norman cabinet" takes all its meaning.
For example, we had measured the central bouquet at 62 cm wide x 31 cm high x 19 cm thick, while here we are at 70 cm wide x 41 cm high x 19 cm thick, and we have simply never seen a more imposing one on a cabinet of the Caen plain (and probably nowhere else...).
It would not surprise us, however, if the three cabinets came from the same famous workshop, as some of the decorative variants of one or the other of the above mentioned cabinets can be found on this last model.
The cabinet is illuminated by long lock entrances of quality probably originating from Tinchebray, with swan-neck motifs and laced plugs of the height of the doors with three points of fixation. They have the particularity to be, not simply in iron as usual, but in tinned iron (alloy of iron and tin or tinplate taking the color of silver and resistant to corrosion).
Condition: very rare original condition, and perfectly reviewed in restoration, presenting itself as a linen cupboard with its three shelves, one of which has two drawers (one locking). The furniture is absolutely all oak, all visible parts in oak mesh. Very nice patina of honey color, waxed finish.
Origin : Basse-Normandie, Calvados, Bayeux.
Period : first part of the 19th century.
Dimensions : Height 2,48 m x Width 1,57 m x Depth 0,58 m.
Cornice : Width 1,91 m x Depth 0,74 m.
Price : on request
12 000 €