17th Century Breton Merchants Armoire

17th Century Breton Merchants Armoire

Code: 10626


W: 130cm (51.2")H: 174cm (68.5")D: 73cm (28.7")

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From the Morlaix region of N. Finistere, W. Brittany comes this very rare linen press (armoire). It is about as early a piece of furniture as was made or can be found outside of public collections.
It would have been commissioned for one of the myriad small chateau or imposing timber framed merchants houses in the town.
The tulip motif in the lower door panels appears c.1630 but continued to be repeated for a couple of decades later.
The Zephyr, god of the west wind, with their cherubic faces blowing their favourable winds tend to be associated with merchant pieces.
An important port, sea trade was responsible for Morlaix's wealth. A good wind was always appreciated to bring laden vessels safely home.  

The piece is deliberated well and heavily constructed as essentially a cross between a domestic dry store for linens, bible, paperwork and candles and a safe.
The only other examples I know of are in the regional museum in Morlaix and Museum of Brittany in Rennes.
Its the first privately offered piece of its class and age I've seen in 30 years. It has had the usual minor historic repairs, disassembled easily for transport (not bad for a third of a millennium) and is entirely sound and functional.
It deserves to be seen in its next home functioning perfectly as a hanging wardrobe or television cabinet. Unique and fabulous.