Oak wedding chest – 18th century – Auvergne – [MP028]
Oak wedding chest – 18th century – Auvergne – [MP028]
Oak wedding chest – 18th century – Auvergne – [MP028]

Flowers, passion, a dowry and its sheath

Here is how this piece of furniture appeared in Auvergne in the 18th century.

Prelude to the wedding, the engagement makes it possible to organize as it should, the imminent arrival of the bride in the family of the groom, under the condition of a dowry made at least of a piece of furniture containing the entirety of her trousseau.

The father of the bride orders from the itinerant carpenter in furniture, a chest both robust and delicate in which his daughter can “lock” her laundry and take it to her new home.

So that his personal effects, even once the chest is filled to the brim, are not crumpled, the planks of the lid are maintained on a curved crosspiece using large forged nails, which gives its rounded shape to the top.

In order not to compress the bride's trouseau, the boards of the lid are held on a curved crosspiece, which gives a domed shape to the tray.
In order not to compress the bride's trouseau, the boards of the lid are held on a curved crosspiece, which gives a domed shape to the tray.
The planks of the tray are maintained on this curve using large forged nails.
The planks of the tray are maintained on this curve using large forged nails.

According to the Auvergne tradition, this chest is made of thick oak planks. This robust structure ensures its solidity and longevity.

In the same time, the ornamentation is full of finesse. The facade is decorated with flowers, symbol of the Passion, framed by a succession of fingernail stroke pattern.

The flower of the middle panel is further set with a diamond-shaped frame.

The ornamentation of the facade, full of fantasy, contrasts with the robustness of the body typically in the Auvergne style.
The ornamentation of the facade, full of fantasy, contrasts with the robustness of the body typically in the Auvergne style.
Around the flowers, symbols of the Passion, are traced frames decorated with so-called "coup d'ongle" (fingernail stroke) motifs.
Around the flowers, symbols of the Passion, are traced frames decorated with so-called "coup d'ongle" (fingernail stroke) motifs.
The flower of the middle panel is further set with a diamond-shaped frame.
The flower of the middle panel is further set with a diamond-shaped frame.

Fleur de lys et moraillon

As a highlight, the “serrure à bosse” (literally bump lock) is quite remarkable. The “moraillon” (hasp)  that supports the “auberon” (catch of the lock), this loop in which the bolt engages when you turn the key in the lock, this hasp therefore has a very pretty ending in fleur-de-lys, attesting to family loyalty to the Kings of France.

Reference: [MP028]
Dimensions
Width: 114cm, height: 85cm, depth: 57cm.

The hasp that supports the auberon has a very pretty fleur-de-lys ending, attesting to family loyalty to the Kings of France.
The hasp that supports the auberon has a very pretty fleur-de-lys ending, attesting to family loyalty to the Kings of France.

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