A French Panetière is an iconic piece for the French home.
We just brought home a prized piece of antique French furniture!
Recently acquired from a French seller is this fabulous French Panetière
The Panetière (pronounced panuh-tyer) is a bread safe, and is considered a highly collectible antique, representing the celebrated symbol of Country French tradition, the making of bread.
Bread has been one of Europe’s traditions for centuries, so of course, the French elevated this daily task and ritual of bread-making to an art form by creating a beautiful cabinet to store the bread in.
If one had to name a single piece of furniture that would be most typical of old Provence, it would have to be a panetière.
In the beginning, these cabinets existed only in Provence and were a part of almost every provençal household from the early to mid 1600’s, right up until World War I.
At the heart of any kitchen in Provence would be a Panetière hung on the wall or sitting on top of a cabinet.
After World War I the Panetière made its way into other areas of France.
With each passing year it becomes more difficult to find these celebrated symbols of the French tradition of bread making. If one is lucky enough to find one of these amazing cabinets today, they can reach up to $3600 in price.
Placed on a table, cabinet, or hung on a wall, the Panetière became an heirloom piece that was handed down for generations.
Our Panetière is made of fruitwood and has gorgeous carvings and curvy legs, as well as hangers on the back side for hanging.
Panetières were usually made with fittings on the back which would allow them to be hung on the wall, keeping the bread safe from children and pets.
Today, they look fabulous displayed on top of a sideboard or credenza.
Originally, the Panetière was a simple wood box, perforated and placed directly on the table.
However, in the 18th century, carved aprons and cornices began to appear.
Small doors were added through which the bread could be inserted.
In the 19th century, Panetières were designed with spindles to create the case, topped with finials called candeliers or chandelles.
The turned spindle rails surrounding the area where families stored their daily bread kept the children or pets from sneaking a loaf. Many families kept the bread under lock and key, hung from the wall which also served to display this family heirloom for all to see and appreciate.
Carved of fruitwood or walnut, talented sculptors would add carved motifs to reflect the country life, including feathers, birds, fruit, flowers and leaves.
No two were ever exactly alike. Many times such highly decorative Panetières were wedding or anniversary gifts, and the floral & musical adornments symbolized a flowering marriage with harmony in the home.
Even though the Panetière was intended to hang on the wall, they were always created with feet.
They were designed to be easily free-standing. The feet are usually snail-shaped.
The French knew plenty about cooking with style even in the early days.
Panetières are highly sought after for display in the kitchen or dining room.
Today, most Panetièresare used to display special collections of china or collectibles.
It’s an iconic French piece that you can use wherever you need decorative storage.
Recently, we were able to import two petite Panetière cabinets from a French seller. I’ve never seen any in this petite size!
It was amazing that our French seller had two of these rare French bread cabinets! We have listed them both in our online shop!
I love these French Panetières and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading more about the history of these beautiful French pieces. You might also enjoy reading about another iconic French cabinet, the Estanier!