Monday 30 October 2017

A 15th century oak chest panel

Two 15th century from a recent auction and another one bought several years ago at ebay.
The two panels are 45.5 cm high and 20 cm wide and around 1 cm thick.

It is interesting to look at medieval internet auctions and see whether they have some interesting pieces for sale. Mostly, they are above my budget, but this time they had some affordable pieces at Le Prunier Auction: several 15th century French oak panels were for sale. I did a bid for a pair of panels that originated from a chest and won it! Some weeks ago they arrived at home. One of them was in a bad shape - which I knew from the auction photo - with some woodworm holes. As I did not know whether the panel was treated or not, they went for a cure for some weeks into the freezer to kill the bugs.

Wrapped in plastic the panels just fitted into the freezer. 
A few weeks at -20 degrees Celcius is enough to kill any woodworm inside.

The best panel of the two.

A few details of the panels: the roses of the the top.

The gothic windows and the rose in the circle at the bottom.

Compare this with the rose details of my other 15th century panel.

Woodworm vandalism on the other panel.

Wednesday 11 October 2017

Medieval furniture at Chateau Langeais: dressoirs and armoires

There is more to see at Chateau Langeais than tables, benches and chairs. For instance, cupboards, buffets, dressoirs and armoires (see medieval furniture dictionary). Below is the photographic tour of the castle concerning these furniture types.

This beautiful 6-sided early 16th century livery cupboard was luckily a bit damaged. That is, for me, because it allowed some views of the construction that would otherwise not be possible. The dressoir only stands on four legs.

The sides of the dressoir. The wooden nails in the frame are clearly visible. The top of the dressoir consists of three wooden boards.

The dressoir has only one door, with openwork hinges and lock. Above and under the lock are two faces of men with hats and ruffs, typically worn in the early 16th century.

 Left: The front of the drawer. The two front 'legs' end here in an ornamented knob. Right: The underside of the drawer. At the end a wooden block is placed as a stopper.

Left: Another view of the underside of the drawer. It rests upon two rails. Right: One of the lower side panel was broken, allowing a view inside. You can see the rail on which the drawer rests and the stopper block at the end. Also the groove of the side panel can be seen and the bottom of the cupboard above.
The top has a simple ornamented rim attached to it.

 A small but high six-sided  stepped buffet with a canopy and shelves that can be used to display silverware. 
The buffet is made in the late 15th century.

The canopy has a barrel-shaped roof  and the vertical stiles end in woman's faces

The stepped buffet consists of two loose parts: the display shelf with the canopy and the cupboard with the under shelf.  The backside has two heraldic shields which also appear on the cupboard below.

 The door of the cupboard with two heraldic shields.
 Also at the end of the drawer the vertical rails end in woman's heads.

The bottom shelf has six feet.

A four-sided livery cupboard with two doors and no drawers.

The side panels of the dressoir are carved in linenfold pattern.

 A small armoire with double doors. All panels are carved in linenfold pattern.
The top of the armoire consists of two boards.

A large armoire with two large doors and two smaller ones on top. The armoire only has linenfold panels at the front.

The armoire in a bedroom in the castle.

 A low livery cupboard / table with two small doors.

Likely not medieval, existing in medieval times: a baby walker and a cradle.