An Antique French Wardrobe

When examining and, perhaps, hunting down antique French wardrobes the most likely style of furniture that you would be looking for would be those of Louis XIII and Louis XIV. Both styles are distinctive and represent specific times during the history of France. The antique wardrobes that were produced under each king were elaborately ornate and remarkable.

The High Renaissance period came to its climax during the reign of Louis XIII when decoration proliferated in great numbers. The popular types of wood that were used for the wardrobes as well as most other pieces of furniture from this time were walnut and ebony. These two types of wood, while being the principal wood, a popular habit was to create panels, columns and marquetry with gilt bronze and tortoiseshell.

The wardrobes made during the reign of Louis XIV were Baroque in style. Foliage and animals carved into the pieces was popular and mythical creatures were commonly depicted. The detailed inlays and marquetry were found in large quantities and materials such as tortoiseshell, bone, ivory, tin, mother-of-pearl and others were part of the intricate detail work.

Finding an antique French wardrobe that represents either of the styles mentioned above would be a significant find and would certainly create a feature piece for any bedroom. The cabinetry was all about the show and was meant to signify the riches that were contained within.

There is no doubt that buying an antique French wardrobe would be a significant occasion and if you don’t really know what you are looking at it might be an idea to get an independent professional to do an appraisal for you.


About An Antique Pine Wardrobe

One of the most popular types of wardrobe for the modern home is the pine wardrobe with pine being a light, versatile wood that provides plenty of durability and stability. A pine wardrobe will last for a good many years, particularly if the construction has been completed properly. The proof of the longevity of pine is in the number of antique pine wardrobes that are available both online and in antique stores around the country.

Pine has long been one of the main materials used in the construction of bedroom furniture and an antique pine wardrobe would have just about completed every bedroom at one point or another.

Another name for an antique pine wardrobe is a pine armoire and they are still popular with a lot of fine detail work. In the beginning pine furniture such as wardrobes was first produced in the mid-eighteenth century as built-in pieces of furniture that were made to be painted over. The use of the wood slowly made the transfer to smaller, stand-alone pieces of furniture by the end of the century. They were most common in farm houses and townhouse kitchens.

The more popular material used many years ago was oak and pine was really used as a cheap material for creating reproduction pieces. The thing is, though, those reproduction pieces have survived remarkably well and some of them are now a valued antique wardrobe in their own right.

It’s possible to find antique pine wardrobes in large quantities for very reasonable prices if you know where to look. Every weekend there are many deceased estate sales and liquidation auctions where wardrobes and other antique furniture items are available at low prices.

Buying an antique pine wardrobe from one of these sales will not only save you a lot of money but will also give you a wardrobe that has the potential to have a restoration carried out on it resulting in a highly decorative or desirable piece.


What Is An Antique Wardrobe Armoire?

We all hear and use the term armoire when we refer to certain types of wardrobes but how much do we actually know about them? Not that it really matters because when we go out to buy a wardrobe it is accepted that the terms wardrobe and armoire are interchangeable.

The definition that many people accept as descriptive of an armoire is a tall wooden cabinet containing drawers and shelves used for storing clothes or other small household items. An armoire can be closed by means of two swinging doors and may be plain, simple pieces of furniture or elaborately decorated so that it will be a decorative feature in your room. The word armoire is French and it simply means “cupboard”.

Possibly the main difference between what might be classed as an armoire and what might be classed as a mere wardrobe could be the presence of a hanging rod. A rod to hang your clothes will be found in a wardrobe, with a wardrobe historically being the closet in which the king hung his robes. At least that’s the story about how a wardrobe came to be called a wardrobe.

Buying an antique wardrobe armoire means that you are going to be buying a traditional wooden stand-alone cabinet in which to store clothes. It will be a tall cabinet and is most likely going to be made of oak or pine. The great thing about these wardrobes is that they look impressive and so putting one in the bedroom will give the room a focal point around which the rest of the furniture may be based.

Antique wardrobe armoires can be found in quite large numbers in all kinds of styles from Georgian to Victorian and on to Gothic influence as well.

The great news, if you are looking to buy an antique wardrobe armoire, is that they are readily available from many different sources and at very reasonable prices if you are prepared to wait. Auction houses, particularly diseased estate sales or liquidation sales often have armoires for sale at very reasonable prices. Similarly, you can happen upon an armoire being sold cheaply at a garage sale if you are prepared to do the rounds each weekend.

For some people an antique wardrobe armoire is just a piece of old furniture that is simply taking up valuable floor space. For others it is a beautiful example of fine craftsmanship constructed in a style that is rarely seen these days. Snap up that cheap armoire if you can, even spending a few dollars on some furniture restoration will leave you with a bargain wardrobe.

Related Antique Wardrobe Reading

The Traditional Mission Wardrobe
What To Look For When Buying An Antique Wardrobe
Oak Wardrobes


The Traditional Mission Wardrobe

The Mission style of furniture is a rustic, traditional appearance that results in well made, solid looking pieces of furniture. It is a style that was practiced in California around the turn of the twentieth century with one of the best known figures being a craftsman-designer by the name of Gustav Stickley whose furniture became known by the name Mission Oak.

When talking about any piece of furniture that has been constructed following the Mission style you can be assured of a well-constructed piece that will be completely reliable and will last virtually forever. A Mission wardrobe is the kind of wardrobe that you would buy if you were planning a bedroom in a traditional style.

Some of the most beautiful wardrobes have been made in the Mission style with the clean lines and hard angles softened by the use of an effective finish. The wardrobes are invariably constructed of oak and are dark and imposing giving you the impression that your clothes are going to be well protected inside.

A Mission wardrobe will have been handmade and the joinery will generally have been done with close attention to detail. When the original Mission furniture pieces were created there was noticeable attention paid to construction techniques that resulted in particularly solid joints and the use of straight pieces of wood rather than arches and other decorative designs. It’s these straight lines that typify the mission style.

If you have doubts about whether the wardrobe you want to buy is an authentic Mission wardrobe there are a few things to look for.

The wardrobe will be made completely from solid wood, never from such materials as MDF or particle board. The joints are usually exposed and feature dovetail joints, mortise and tenon joints. These types of joinery techniques give the mission furniture pieces their incredible strength and ensure their longevity.

An authentic mission wardrobe would never have been painted, at least not originally. The natural grain of the wood was used in all of its glory with a technique known as quarter-sawing supplying a variation in the wood color to give it the necessary contrasts.

The reason that people today are still looking for a Mission style wardrobe for their bedrooms is because of the reliability of the woodwork craftsmanship that go into the furniture. The look of these wardrobes also has some attraction and anyone decorating a rustic styled bedroom would find that a Mission wardrobe would suit it perfectly.

One of the furniture companies that specialize in this kind of furniture is Sauder Woodworking, a company that has makes ready to assemble wood furniture of outstanding quality. A Sauder Mission wardrobe is just one of the fine, solid pieces of furniture that many people have come to know as a wardrobe to depend on.

No matter whether you are after an antique Mission wardrobe or one that was made more recently following the mission style, you can be confident that the wardrobe you buy is a solid piece. Make sure that it is in a state where the natural wood grain is showcased to its best potential particularly if it is an oak wardrobe.


What To Look For When Buying An Antique Wardrobe

Usually a purchase of opportunity, finding the perfect antique wardrobe can involve a lot of searching as well as rejecting many possible worthy pieces. It will come down to a number of important factors, some of them general to everyone and some of them specific to you.

The authentic dark oak wardrobes of the past can bring tradition and history into the home, while the presence of them alone creates awe in anyone that is witness to their grandeur. Perhaps it is the distressed look coupled with the lightly sweet smell of age and wear, whatever the case, there is still a place for the antique wardrobe in the modern environment. Another name for this type of wardrobe is antique wardrobe armoire.

Walnut Armoire

Antique 2 Door Wardrobe

What should the buyer be looking out for when searching for the perfect antique wardrobe? The potential buyer needs to make sure that the compartments, or the doors for the garment area are still functional, sturdy and that they are not stuck or jammed in some way.

One of the things that set an antique wardrobe apart from many newer models is that they are not replete with all of the unnecessary gadgetry. In general, wardrobes were made purely for functional reasons with storage of general belongings heading the list of requirements.

If the antique wardrobe has cracked mirrors, then the buyer needs to decide if they are worth replacing, or if perhaps there is another choice: one that still has the original mirrors. Keep in mind, some wear-and-tear is good, and in fact that is part of the attraction for many folks; so do not automatically assume that all scratches are necessarily bad. Many of the antique wardrobes were made with brass handles, or mirrors outside the doors; these are some of the things to look for to capture that early nineteenth-century look.

The pine wardrobe is perhaps the most sought after antique because of its durability, and merely owning one shows that the individual is touching a piece of the past, there is an obvious connection that owners feel upon receiving something handed down from a previous century. The look of an antique pine wardrobe blends in nicely with many types of decor which also makes it a versatile piece of furniture.

Furthermore, most wardrobes built in the nineteenth century were crafted with precision, with complete dedication and love, for it is the energy that has been put into these wardrobes that creates the desire to own one.

A few tips for choosing the right antique wardrobe: decide on the shape and size before looking at possibilities. Even though style is of utmost importance, pay attention to the possibility of getting the wardrobe you want cheaply. There are often special deals surrounding the sale of antique wardrobes and picking one up at a bargain basement price will only make the purchase even more special to you. Ensure that the wardrobe will fit into the room you intend on placing it in, taking a tape measure with you when you go wardrobe shopping is essential.

Despite some relative damage, make sure that the wardrobe is durable and built to withstand the rigors of day-to-day use. An antique wardrobe may look good on the showroom floor, yet it may stick out in an unsatisfactory way upon placing it in the home. Read up on the many ways in which to take care of the wardrobe—perhaps various oils, dusting, etc, will ensure your new antique wardrobe will last a long time.

An additional piece of furniture that may also complement the wardrobe in the bedroom is something like an antique wardrobe trunk which harks back to the days when it was necessary to carry a lot of clothes when travelling. These days antique wardrobe trunks make wonderful furniture items in the room that also provide valuable storage.

More Antique Wardrobe reading

What Is An Antique Wardrobe Armoire