36 East 73rd Street New York City, NY 10021 United States 212.517.9176
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$ 12,000

Cherry Wood (bois de Sainte Lucie) Casket with Bronze Hardware

Origin France
Period Pre 18th Century
Materials Cherry wood and bronze
W. 11.375 in; H. 4.25 in; D. 8.875 in;
W. 28.89 cm; H. 10.8 cm; D. 22.54 cm;
Condition Excellent.
Creation Date 1690-1700
Description Due to sumptuary laws, these boxes of rare hard wood were very expensive to produce, and took the place of the gold, silver, and Boulle boxes that had been popular for weddings just before this period. This rectangular box known as Bois de Bagard, was produced in Lorraine at the end of the 17th century and into the 18th century. It is a type of cherry wood with a reddish tone and fine grain called Saint-Lucie found in the regional forest of Sampigney-en-Barrois, now destroyed. The term Bois de Bagard became associated with these objects through Cesar Bagard (1620-1704), Court Sculptor to Duke Charles IV de Lorraine, who lived and worked in Nancy during the reign of Louis XIV. Bagard has been incorrectly linked with the production of these wares, which were more likely produced by a family of Nancy sculptors by the name of Foulon. A document dated 1751 by the Benedictine monk Dom Calmet stated that “Many small objects are made out of bois de Sainte-Lucie in Lorraine which are exported to foreign parts. And this occupies numerous workers. The Foulons were famed for this and produced many works for the Dauphin."

This delicately carved box has an inverted tray top, centered by a pair of rampant birds above paired flaming hearts and beneath a marquis coronet. Scrolling foliage and flower heads surround the central element, all contained within an acanthus molding. The sloping sides of the lid are decorated with scrolling foliage and flower heads, within bordering moldings. Each of the sides is again decorated with the same foliate scrolls. The base ends with an extended acanthus molding. The original bronze hinges and lock-plate remain intact.
Styles / Movements Baroque, Louis XIV
Book References Tempting Pandora, 2000, pp. 126-29. H. Demoriane. “Bois de Bagard” Conaissance des Arts, January 1968, p. 91.
Dealer Reference Number BOX 38 E
Incollect Reference Number 177609
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