Thursday, January 6, 2011

Rustic Chic Provencal Style

We've rented a house in Provence several times. We quickly settled in to the life style of days wandering around hill towns, and evenings making simple dinners with items picked up at the various shops in the nearby town.

We also loved poking around the antique shops in L'Isle sur la Sorgue. You may not want a complete Provencal look, but pieces added to your decor will give you that Provencal chic!

I think one reason that Provencal furniture is so alluring is that it is somewhat rustic, and creates a relaxing look that's welcoming.

I was taken by this provincial stained oak cupboard in the next St. Charles Gallery auction. The carving makes it almost graphic, and the deep color of the wood is wonderful. It's 76" tall and has an auction estimate of $50 - $80! I would want a condition report before bidding because that is a very low estimate, but it looks great.

This provincial Louis XV cupboard is a bit more classically Provencal style. It's made of fruitwood which gives it that wonderfully warm patina. It's dated late 18th/early 19th centuries, stands 83", and has an auction estimate of $1,000 - $2,000.It's included in the next Brunk auction January 8th and 9th.

To give you an example of sale prices, this wonderful 1st quarter 19th century fruitwood armoire sold at a New Orleans auction for $2,706. It has the beautiful carved details, and wood color that are characteristic of Provencal antiques. It is a bit more refined looking that the previous two examples. 

The Provencal chair with the rush seat makes a relaxed dining room addition. I like the idea of a mixed style grouping to make it even more interesting. The lot represented in the photo above that sold at Christie's included two sets of 3 chairs to make a group of six that sold for $239. You'd want to check for condition of the rush seat and make sure that they were sturdy, and if not make allowance for repair. 

St. Charles Gallery, New Orleans

The chairs need a rustic table. This 4th quarter 19th century fruitwood farm table is 72" long, and sold at a St. Charles Gallery auction for $861. I love rustic tables for dining rooms to make them more welcoming and less formal. This would also be great as a work table in the kitchen where afmily and friends could pull up a chair and participate in the making of a meal.

Finally, a lovely writing table with one of those rush seat chairs would be fabulous addition to the corner of a living room, or a place to work in your bedroom. This one being offered at the next Christie's Interiors sale in New York is a nice size, and has graceful carving and shape of the legs. This is a mid-18th century French provincial fruitwood table, and has an auction estimate of $800 - $1,200.

Provencal antiques are warm and welcoming, and reflect the life style of Southern France. You can bring some of that feeling in to your decor with lots of options at auctions!

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