The apprentice system in France is one of their most cherished and charming traditions, and continues today. The cabinet makers (ebeniste, ebaniste) still train young people and test their skill levels periodically with assignment to create and build a miniature piece of furniture. Some, at early levels of training, are quite simple. And many are elaborate and magnificent works that bring prices of full-sized furnishing. Usually doll collectors search these out, for the displays they create for their Bru and other dolls. This is one such miniature chest. The apprentice might have been at mid-point in skill acquisition, and the little country French oak chest is likely late 1800s to earliest 1900s. The hardware is also designed and cast by the maker. All to scale. The chest you see here is beautiful old French oak, its hardware individually crafted to fit it. Complete in all ways, it has 2 functional drawers (lined in red felt) and is perfect in size for dolls' houses or rooms (15-20" dolls, I'd say). It is 8.5" tall, 10.5" wide and 5" front to back. Serpentine front and sides, incised carving in detail. I've tried to show it well from all angles of view. Certainly also pretty enough to just display your portrait miniatures, jewelry collection, whatever.
Very good to excellent. I can't find anything to report. I am uncertain if the red felted interior to drawers might be a later addition, and rather think it likely. It's clean and not damaged. Just in from Paris recently. It won't be with us long. They never are.
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