It is not often that one comes across a piece of furniture that is in perfect shape despite being over four centuries old. After putting up exquisite pink diamonds and a vintage Louis Vuitton steamer trunk up for auction, French antiques store M.S. Rau Antiques has acquired an antique French dressoir which is over 425 years old and which was created during the Renaissance in France. The 16th-century sideboard dates back to the reign of Francois I and is one of the rarest pieces of extant furniture from the period.
Marked by rich, detailed carvings, this French dressoir is one of only three known pieces to exist within non-museum collections. One belonged to the well-known Frick Collection in New York, another to the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Apparently, Henry Clay Frick had paid a staggering $110,000 back in 1917 for his French dressoir. The intricate craftsmanship warrants the price.
The dressoir was built at a time when artisans were creating the first pieces of genuinely decorative furniture. It was at this time that the first artists of furniture began to showcase their talent. The dressoir is built of walnut wood and boasts of interiors made out of oak. The cabinet may be a French creation, but there are definite Italian influences. The elaborate motifs hark back to Italy during the Renaissance.
However, this was not just another cabinet. The intricate work suggests that this French dressoir may have held pride of place in grand dining halls, covered with fine tapestry, and used to display gold and silver treasures. This 16th-century masterpiece is still in perfect condition, making it the perfect addition to any serious private collection.