Art Moderne Satinwood Buffet from France, c. 1940
An Art Moderne satinwood buffet from France c. 1940. The exceptionally distinctive lines of this cabinet give it unmistakeable panache exclusive to the best furnishings produced during the 1940's in France. Please note the artistic tension created by the balance and symmetry of the pair of cabinet doors that flank the central motif juxtaposed with the slanted sides and legs that spring forth from the lower corners of the cabinet. Each cabinet door is square in shape and framed by a raised and beaded moulded edge. This same size moulding is also seen defining the central motif of a vertical and rectangular block with an arched top resembling a window frame or keyhole. The doors are both divided into quadrants by the pair of diagonal lines of ebonized timber that create a dramatic "X" that slashes through the centre of each door. The artisan who crafted this cabinet was very inventive in the application of the satinwood as each quadrant of timber is placed in such a way that the timber appears to change colour as the light strikes the surface or from which angle the cabinet is viewed. This awareness of the reflective quality of timber and how it will appear when completed demonstrates a superior level of cabinet making ability that remains as powerful today as when the cabinet was first placed in a modern interior. When the left door is opened with the key it opens to reveal an interior storage space with two drawers above an open space while the right door reveals an entirely open storage space. The inside of each door follows the same pattern of being divided into quadrants as the exterior but here the timber is mahogany with a particularly iridescent sheen. Each of the doors has a small circular brass escutcheon (the metal plate that guides the key through to the interior lock and protects the wood from being scratched) placed near the edge of the side opposite the hinges. This placement also reinforces the symmetry of the cabinet. The top has a straight edged groove that runs across the front and along the sides that is not apparent from a distance but becomes more and more evident as the cabinet is approached. Again a change in the surface profile gives a distinctive line and modern appearance. Both the left and right side are placed at an outward tilt and appear to flare up and out at an angle. This particular line is completely modern and makes no reference to an antique past. The same raised moulding that is seen between the doors on the front reappears here on the sides but in a simple rectangle without the arched top. The entire cabinet stands upon an apron placed at an angle that extends forward from the piece in a rounded profile that melds seamlessly into the shape of the four legs. All of the legs are the same and indicate the cabinet was designed to be seen from all directions while retaining an intriguing appearance. Although the legs bear a resemblance to the famous and well known cabriole leg they have a completely contemporary feel as they are larger at the top before they taper down to the floor and rely totally on a curvaceous line for their impact without any carving. The change in scale from the top of the leg to the base is particularly powerful and adds immeasurably to the overall appearance of the cabinet.
WIDTH: 52 in | HEIGHT: 36 in | DEPTH: 16 in
Shipping Estimate: $350 | White glove
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