9215 A French Louis XIII period walnut cabinet a deux corps, the panels carved with the crowned L monogram, the uprights with swags of fruit and flowers centred on a female mask, the upper section with two doors, the lower section with two frieze drawers above two cupboard doors.
Width; 62.5 ins (158 cms)
Depth; 24.75 ins (63 cms)
Height; 78 ins (198 cms) £7,000
This unusual cupboard in two parts is a fine example of French furniture made during the late Renaissance period in Southeast France at the beginning of the 17th century. The clear influence of the Italian Renaissance is shown in the bold carving in walnut of swags of fruit and putti heads, and the form is typical of double height cupboards from Florence, Rome and Milan, but with subtle differences in proportion and construction.
The feature which sets this cupboard apart from others of similar design is the remarkable, joyous representation of the cipher of Louis XIII prominently carved on virtually all the surfaces. The owner of this cabinet was in no doubt as to where his allegiances lay. However, during the early years of the French Revolution this might have caused difficulties to the subsequent owners as references to the monarchy such as fleur de leys, crowns and Royal arms were regarded as subversive and considerable efforts were made to literally cut out and paint over them. Quite how these panels survived, we can only guess but it certainly would have been a difficult if not impossible piece to have had on display in France at that time.
As for the original owner, without any documentation, we will never know if this display of loyalty to his monarch helped to improve his position in society, which must surely have been the intention of this commission….but he certainly gave it a good go!