When we think of a French armoire, something French Rococo Revival ‘shabby chic’ comes to mind, made around the end of the 19th century, along with the many new reproductions that are being sold today.
However, the French armoire is hundreds of years old, going back as far as the middle of the 16th century and was originally Baroque in style with Gothic arch details to the front. As a piece of furniture it was always big and heavy, was square in design and as with many country pieces has withstood many fashion changes over the past five hundred years.
As a particularly large and heavy piece of furniture in its guise as a wardrobe, it has probably almost broken the back of many removal men as they struggle with it both up and downstairs when the occupants move home. However, because of its squareness, it has also become useful as a large cupboard often fitted out with shelving and taking pride of place in a large country kitchen.
Although large, it would only take up the equivalent in fitted bedroom and kitchen furniture and probably costs a lot less, so worth an investigation. 16th century examples are now extremely rare, but revival pieces are quite common and come in various styles such as the more organically formed Rococo, the squarer Provençal, the plainer Louis Philippe as well as original Baroque styling.
Reputable antique dealers can help to find genuine and revival French armoires, shelving and antique cabinets. Preston and the surrounding areas offer many choices in antique furniture.
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