VERY FINE BRASS-INLAID FLAME MAHOGANY CLASSICAL ARMOIRE OR WARDROBE
New York, c. 1820
The flat projecting cornice over a knife-edge molding above a case with pilasters with brass string inlay flanking a pair of highly figured, paneled and cross-banded cabinet doors with brass hinges and astragal, opening to a vertically bifurcated interior with the capacity for five shelves per side. The case is raised on a plinth with acanthus carved hairy paw feet in front and short turned legs in back. All four feet are raised on period casters. Construction notes: The back is comprised of four pine raised panels. The case is joined by bed bolts, top and bottom.
H: 83″ Case Width: 54¼” Case Depth: 22″ Cornice 63¼” x 25″
Condition: Excellent: Minor veneer chipping along the bottom rail restored, small sections of bull-nose molding on the cornice replaced. Small patch at the strike plate and brass strike plate replaced. Two tiny holes filled on doors where later pulls were removed. Three shrinkage cracks to the side panels stabilized and reinforced on the interior. All but two original shelves missing. Brass bed bolt covers replaced.
A Classical Armoire or wardrobe of superb quality; the presence of fiddle-back mahogany in the frames of the doors, the cross-banding in the door panels and the brass stringing in the pilasters indicates the hand of a top New York City maker. The carved lion’s paw feet reference ancient Greek and Roman furniture that inspired a design movement that swept the Western world at the end of the 18th century. (read more about this design movement here).
To see the uses to which Armoires have historically been put, click here to view one drawn by French artist, Jean-Honoré Fragonard, French, (1732 – 1806).