A French Estanier Cabinet
Several months ago, while visiting my favorite monthly estate sale, I discovered a beautiful rare piece that’s been on my “bucket list” for quite some time. It was a French estanier cabinet.
I really didn’t believe that I would ever find one that fit within my budget. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I spied it sitting on the other side of the room.
As I hurried over to it, I saw that it was in pretty bad shape….in pieces, really….with broken and missing finials, and the top piece was completely separated.
Someone in the past had glued old fabric onto the back, which wasn’t a great look.
I checked the tag and it was priced at $249.00, which, considering that they can sell for up to $3,500.00, wasn’t bad. But still…..it needed a lot of work.
Standing over it and guarding it so no one else would grab it, I motioned for hubby to come look at it.
I don’t think he was quite as enamored with it as I was, but as I explained the history of the cabinet, and the fact that I rarely see them…and when I do, they are much, much higher in price…..he told me that he would work on it and try to get it put back together if I wanted it.
That’s what I wanted to hear!
I wish I had taken some “before” pictures, but unfortunately I didn’t.
The cabinet sat in the garage for months while hubby worked on it in between renovations in the house, so I only have the “after” photos.
The 19th century Louis XV estanier cabinet is made of carved walnut, and was probably crafted in Southern France during the late 1800’s.
An estanier was originally used as a hanging shelf to display an “etains”, or a pewter plates and cups collection.
Designed to sit on top of a cabinet or hang on the wall, I have chosen to sit it on top of the Louis XV commode that sits in our breakfast room.
I filled it with my French, English, and German ironstone collection.
I love the old ironstone advertising pieces, and though I don’t have very many, they look wonderful displayed in this beautiful french estanier cabinet.
It took several months, but hubby was able to piece it all back together, and he did a beautiful job.
The old fabric that had been glued on the back wouldn’t come off, so he had to completely replace the back, and the wood was so dry that it soaked up the hemp oil we used on it.
It desperately needs another coat of hemp oil, and I’ll be doing that this week.
I love it’s hand carved French motifs and cabriole legs!
The curved top had five turned finials, but unfortunately two were missing and one was broken into two pieces.
We were able to get the broken one repaired. We’ll have to keep an eye out for two more to replace the those that are missing. But for now, it looks fine with just three.
After I removed the antique mirror that was displayed on this wall, now the unsightly air vent is showing, so I’m looking for a large french sign to hang over it. There are several air vents in this room so closing one won’t be an issue.
Each time I find a special piece like this, I’m reminded of why I love antiquing!
Every once in awhile, I will find that one of a kind piece at an amazing price.
It may need some repair or updating, but it’s well worth it!
Are you an antique lover?
Antiques bring instant history to a home. Even just a few special pieces can tell a story and reflect your personality. But a word of warning….antiquing can be quite addictive!