This is a great highly carved fruit wood Louis XV style French armoire. It dates to the mid 18th century, I believe due to the highly carved details but up close inspection is the only way to narrow these dates on armoires. Mahogany isn't a bad guess but the flame and tone of the wood color is not the rich red color of mahogany and fruit wood was a classic wood for these armoires. The carving is well executed in great detail..so ornate. This is a great piece but you did get a deal if you bought this a an estate sale for 2K.
The issue that you are going to have to come to grips with is what will each market bare..and what French armoires are SELLing for and what they are being purchased for. There are quite a few on the market online selling for high amounts but the auction market is telling us another story of what their own (the auction house market) will bare.
Here are some records and links to help you. I can not give you images unfortunately from the high end auction market. It wont allow it but trust me that the carving is in the realm of this one. Although yours is exceptional Rococo. (check out Bonham's for their armoires they sell a lot but few records have images but you can see that the sale price is well lower than the online market - use their search at this link. Make sure that you put in past auctions so you get sale numbers and check the date so it is January 2003..This may take your right to the information. http://www.bonhams.com/cgi-bin/public.sh/pubweb/publicSite.r
A French provincial "Marriage" armoire, finely carved oak throughout, with removable cornice above oak leaf and bird cartouche, panel doors each with floral and game carving.
PROVENANCE: Ex Collection of Norman and Pat Cole.
CONDITION: Some refitting to interior, breaks and separations in some moldings and joints, approximately .5" thick Liquid Wood/Bondo repair to base of one foot, door panels shrunken and slightly loose, other expected wear and flaws.
DIMENSIONS: 101" high by 65" wide by 29" deep.
A French carved oak armoire, 18th century, molded cornice with carved frieze, centering basket of fruit and flowers, over two paneled doors, on straight legs flanking carved skirt.
DIMENSIONS: 86" high by 62" wide by 20" deep.
The upside is that there maybe a high end market that sells these for much more but you have to find it. With something this large it maybe local but here are helpful records to what the antique store owners value these at! I truly think the real value of your particular piece (being realistic is c. 7000.00 due to the craftmanship but conservatively it may fall closer to 6000.00) However you are welcome to try and get some of these numbers below. The appeal may just draw these prices since it is so unique and beauitful. (I am choosing links with picures that are highly accessible - I do think some of the wood identification is incorrect on many of these that I see on the market and dates are questionable..but some I can tell are closer)
http://www.cowanauctions.com/auctions/item.aspx?ItemId=71372 (later date but value of the market at AUCTION..these are less on the auction market even in fine antique sales)
http://www.cowanauctions.com/auctions/item.aspx?ItemId=54064 (later date but value of the market for armoires at AUCTION)
I hope this is helpful. I know it is confusing but I think this will tell you how important the venue will be to getting the higher prices.
Best wishes, Dori
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