limoges porcelain boxes, Wonderful World 3

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Ameublement 3
I have always loved French Toile fabric. It is delicate looking, soft but with lots of character, and very interesting because the patterns are always peopled pastoral scenes but done in shades of only one color and always against a white ground. The fabric works in almost any room including a kitchen. I have seen a kitchen done in black and white toile that was nothing short of sensational. It had black counter tops and appliances with all white cabinetry. The walls were in a deep rusty red and the fabric looked wonderful against them. It was country but dramatic and pretty enough to permit entertaining in the family dining area which is always fun when it is just a couple of close friends. Below we are showing three different versions of toile, all give the same effect but if you look closely you can see that the prints are not all the same.

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L. The French Armoire Box.
Looking closely at this piece it has almost a Chinoiserie feeling to it because of the delicacy of the fabric design but it is a French Country Armoire, originally meant for clothing, as ours is, but today converted and used for everything including an entertainment center and one I have seen done as a bar with all of the owner's crystal displayed inside of it. Often they are painted inside, mirrored inside and even upholstered inside in matching fabric to the rest of the room. I have also seen them with halogen lighting inside for display purposes. Very handsome! And very practical. Our box is painted to simulate wood grain and closely resembles period furniture from the 17th century. They used porcelain painted plaques then, inset into the wood, that looked much like this looks. The Getty Museum in Los Angeles has a magnificent collection of porcelain decorated wood pieces. The original Sèvres factory made porcelain plaques specifically for this purpose. Our box has doors that open and a clothing rod inside and comes with a dimensional, removable robe in a matching fabric pattern on a tiny hanger. (This piece will not hang in the armoire.) The clasp is a miniature gold key which is set in the door lock. Retail: About $305.00. Our price: $274.90.

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M . The French Settee Box in Lavender Blue Toile. Delicate and so elegant, this loveseat is wood framed, with French Toile on the inside back and seat cushions and has cabriole legs. The entire outside of the settee is done in what looks to be a lavender blue linen. You can actually see the texture it has been given. There are two bolsters done in the wood color with lavender blue binding and tiny silk tassels, real, are attached by gold pins inserted into the cushions. Retail: About $261.00. Our price: $234.90.

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N. The French Settee Box in Rose Toile. This is the exact toile design as on both of the other settees but see what a different feeling it gives the piece. Color changes the character of furniture. This settee is completely upholstered in three matching fabrics, simulated, the toile in the seating area and a stripe on the inner arms and back. The skirt is solid color with arabesques of a very deep rose. This would be elegant in a master bedroom or in a sitting room. Inside a tree detail from the toile pattern and the clasp, a bird. Retail: About $215.00. Our price: $193.90.

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O. The Country French Wing Chair Box. Do you know why wing chairs were originally made? There was, of course, no central heating in the 17th and 18th centuries. Houses (of the wealthy and the nobility) were large and sprawling and drafty! Downright cold is what they really were. Heating was done by fireplace and brazier and both heated only the areas immediately around them. Breezes blew through the houses, even the castles and chateaux were like that. The ceilings were very high and the rooms could never be fully heated so a very smart furniture maker came up with the wing chair which sheltered the occupant from the prevailing drafts. The style became a staple in furniture and it has never been out of fashion since it was first introduced. Then someone took it a step further and added a rounded hood to it and that version is called the Hall Porter Chair. You don't see them very often but they are stunning. I recently ran across a photograph of a New England Settle, a rough hewn chair or bench used in this country in our early days. It is very much like a wing chair in design although not as refined. Our Limoges Wing Chair has a wooden frame and is upholstered in a very interesting toile design of a small country bridge, a pont, and an elaborate domed structure, like a garden gazebo in appearance. A handsome and interesting pattern and quite different from the other toiles shown. Inside a garden umbrella, painted, The clasp is unimportant to the design. Our price: $209.90.

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P1. The French Settee Box in Marquetry. This is the original version of this piece. We had it several years ago and it was very much loved by our customers. Then it was sold out and gone--for good, we thought. But no, they have brought it back and here it is again. The entire outer shell of this settee is painted to resemble fine wood grain with insets of different woods to provide contrast. The painting on it is nothing short of marvelous. It it meant to look like marquetry and that is exactly what it looks like: tiny pieces of wood cut to fit together and inlaid to form a design. The work was highly skilled and today we simply do not have the fine craftsmen to do marquetry. The skills needed for it take many years to acquire. The seating area of the settee is done in a tapestry of cherubs in a pastoral setting. Inside, painted, a matching sofa. The clasp, a fleur de lis. Retail: About $215.00. Our price: $193.90. Encore! Age has only made this piece more beautiful. Note: Marquetry was invented by Andre Boulle in the late 17th century in France.

P2. The French Marquetry Chair Box. The matching side chair to the Marquetry Settee done in exactly the same manner with details from the same tapestry. This charming very tiny box is so detailed in shape, in painting, in relief that only the most skilled artists could have worked on it. It is only 2 inches tall and the seat is 3/4 of an inch square. The seat is the box and inside the box is another chair, painted. The clasp is a tiny fleur de lis. Retail: About $245.00. Our price: $219.90. Encore!

P3. The French Marquetry Table Box. Done in the same manner as both of the other pieces in this group, this is a tiny side table,1 3/4 inches high and 7/8 of an inch in diameter. The tapestry design here is similar to something done by Francois Boucher, a lovers tryst. Notice that the legs are double hoofed and are supported by a triangular shelf acting as a stretcher bar. Inside, Louis XV, painted and the clasp a tiny fleur de lis. Retail: About $235.00. Our price: $212.90. Encore!

NOTE: Marquetry was invented by Andre Boulle in the late 17th century in France and notice that they are all Louis XV in style.

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