Louis XV Lyonnaise Château Armoire


A large and important Lyonnaise double-chapeau "château" armoire in ornately sculpted walnut from the mid-18th century. Comprised of a pair of three-panel doors decorated with scroll and leaf motifs, surmounted by a decorated frieze, cartouche, and heavy double-arched cornice. Three shelves, one containing a bank of drawers, make up the interior of the armoire.

The central cartouche depicts St. Francis and the Wolf of Gubbio. When St. Francis was living in the Umbrian city of Gubbio, a wolf began terrorizing the countryside, killing cattle, then later people, and finally feeding exclusively on human flesh. It would attack and kill any inhabitant who dared venture outside the city gate. One day, Francis decided to confront the wolf and put an end to the carnage. He departed the city in search of the animal, and when he found it, it charged at him with teeth bared. St. Francis made the sign of the cross and commanded the wolf in the name of God to stop. The wolf stopped and lay at Francis' feet, resting its head in his hands. Francis' spoke to the wolf, promising it that if it would refrain from harming the people or their animals, they would feed it daily. The wolf and the townsfolk all kept their part of the bargain during the following years. Upon the death of the wolf, the town gave it an honorable burial and erected a church on the site in honor of St. Francis. During renovations in 1872, the skeleton of a large wolf, apparently several centuries old, was found under a slab near the church wall and then reburied inside.

H 114 in. x W 73 in. x D 30 in.