Early Louis XV period, circa 1730
Dimensions : H. 90 x W. 150 x D. 66 cm
This very beautiful chest of drawers in kingwood veneer, has a curved front called "crossbow". This model was produced in much smaller quantities than the "tombeau" chests of drawers that appeared around the same time. The crossbow chests of drawers are generally more imposing with a width of 145 cm and even 150 cm instead of the usual 130 cm. Also higher, their line is often powerful and racy. The master cabinetmaker François Garnier was one of the first to make this type of chest of drawers, a sample of which is kept in the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. He did not always sign his chests of drawers because around 1730 the stamp (the "Estampille" , tax created by Louis XV) was not yet mandatory.
As always, even on a rare model like the "Arbalète" chests of drawers, we find different levels of quality. Our chest of drawers is veneered with a single superb precious wood, king wood. The apparent sobriety of the marquetry hides a complex work of frieze, with multiple frames executed with a precision that attests to the work of a master. The kingwood was chosen without defect, and its superb reddish-brown color brings out the exceptional quality of the finely chiseled and gilded bronzes. It should be noted that the bronzes have been simply cleaned and that, for once, their "Gold Varnish" is original.
This chest of drawers opens with five drawers on three rows, as a small drawer is hidden between the two upper drawers. The uprights are "pinched", sharpening the line of the furniture. The sides flare slightly outwards, which in 1730 was a great novelty breaking with the still straight sides of the french Regency.
The interiors of the drawers confirm an important order: the fine carvings were executed in the most beautiful walnut. The marble, with double "bec de corbin" is original. Veined with gray and brown, this "Rance de Belgique" was imported from Flanders at the beginning of the 18th century.
This chest of drawers has just been perfectly restored. Its state of conservation is remarkable because almost all of its veneer is original, as well as the bronzes and their gilding, the frame, the interiors of drawers and the marble.
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