Hand-Crafted Home: Heavily Carved Antique Furniture

It was no surprise to me when I saw a design expert in an issue of Oprah magazine talk about the home decor trend for mixing heavily carved antique furniture with contemporary furnishings. I guess it’s no surprise to our customers either! Carved wood buffets, tables, chairs, and other home decor accents are among the most popular items at EuroLuxAntiques.com.

First there’s the pleasure of owning an exclusive, one-off antique, lovingly-created by master craftsmen. Then you have the decorative impact of an ornately carved piece in beautiful aged wood. That’s true whether you enjoy it in a traditional style home, or blended with your modern decor. Either way, the choice shows off your unique personality and taste. Really, it’s hand-crafted history!

This high-quality antique French Renaissance Hunting Buffet (circa 1880) looks great in Susan B.'s living roomWe loved how Susan B. displayed this antique French Renaissance Hunting Buffet (circa 1880) in her living room. It looks great next to an oil painting of Venice, Italy. When we delivered the buffet to Susan in Spartanburg, SC, we learned she chose it because the carved wolf or hunting dog at the top reminded her of her lovely pair of German Shepherds. (See other pictures of Susan’s home and her heavily carved antique furniture in our customer spotlight.)
French Brittany style antique buffet (1880) in highly carved chestnut. EuroLuxAntiques.com

Michelangelo said:
“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” The craftsman who created this Brittany style buffet server or hutch dating to 1880 took his inspiration from the scenes of daily life he saw around him in France. The rich chestnut wood is highly carved with a water scene and depictions of people working the fields, spinning yarn, and even walking with an umbrella! You can read more about heavily carved antique furniture in the Brittany style in my earlier blog post.

Antique French buffet (1880) carved with birds, fish, and the monogram EM or ME! EuroLuxAntiques.comThis French Hunting Style buffet is lavishly carved with game birds and fish. It also has those gorgeous barley twists down each side. The 1880 antique French buffet is also carved with the monogram ME or EM. That’s because it was commissioned to be made for a specific family. How amazing is that? I suppose if your initials don’t match, you could just go with the ME version. As in: “I deserve this beauty for ME!”




Awesome vintage French Gothic Style chandelier with 6 regal eagles! EuroLuxAntiques.comBuffets and sideboards are perhaps the most popular ways for people to incorporate heavily carved antique furniture into their homes. But this awesome French Gothic Style chandelier draws the eye upwards to the ceiling! The 6 regal eagles are splendidly carved in dark oak. Each one holds a glass shade in its beak. Dating to 1950 France, this unusual chandelier is definitely a conversation piece!

It’s hard to find craftsmanship like this any more. Fortunately we do it for you in our antiques buying trips to Europe!

Aimee owns EuroLuxHome.com with her best friend, Greg.  Aimee sources amazing antique furniture, vintage lighting, & high-quality reproduction furniture to help her customers decorate their homes in a unique way.  She loves her 8 (you read that right) fuzzy children and is renovating a 1920s bungalow in South Carolina.  Connect with or sign up to receive this blog in your inbox!

5 thoughts on “Hand-Crafted Home: Heavily Carved Antique Furniture”

  1. I have a carved french buffet with a breasted winged dragon. I also have the original dining table and 12 antique french chairs. My mother bought the set in france in the 1960’s. I’ve been looking for the buffet on the web because it’s so unusual. Do you know anything about it?? I can send a photo if needed.

  2. Hi Kathy,
    It sounds like your mother has a French Renaissance Revival Dining suite. I’ll paste a bit of information about the Renaissance Revival style that was so popular at the turn of the century – 1880s to 1900s:


    As the middle class rose in status and wealth with the advent of the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century, more people were able to afford furniture. This flattening of society in combination with technological advancements created a surge of furniture production. Improved transportation meant a greater variety of wood was available at lower costs. For the first time, furniture became accessible and affordable to the common man. From the 1830s to the end of the 19th century, furniture makers reached back to earlier historical styles, and reinterpreted them with a great deal of creativity and experimentation. Although machines were used to increase speed and productivity, most of the carvings were still done by hand. Consumers were hungry for large, ornate and heavily carved furniture that would impress their friends and family and show off their newly found wealth. The Renaissance Revival style is marked by massive proportions and heavy, ornate carvings. Most furniture was produced in dark oak and walnut. There are actually several sub-styles that fall under the broader Renaissance Revival style and include the Henry II (Henri II) style, Hunting style, Mechelen style, and Louis XIII style.

    In France, the Renaissance style is often referred to as Henry II (Henri II) style, based on the reign of Henry II (1547 – 1559), although it is surprising that the style was not named for his father, Francis I. Considered to be the great French Renaissance monarch, Francis I (1515 – 1547), a contemporary of Henry VIII in England, was a great supporter of the Arts and the Humanities. Enamored with Italian Renaissance art and architecture, he convinced Leonardo da Vinci and other great Italian artists to move to France and work at his court, decorating his many palaces and chateaux (palaces out in the country rather than in Paris) in the lush Loire Valley. He actively collected artistic works by Raphael, Michelangelo, and Titian, which were the beginning of the magnificent art collection of the French kings on display today in the Louvre in Paris. Decorative hallmarks of the Henry II style include arches, pediments, columns, finials, carved flowers, fruit, scrolls and often references to Greek and Roman mythology, including male and female heads, faces or figures, or even winged dragons.

    A great place to find values of antique and vintage items is http://www.worthpoint.com – hope that helps!
    Best wishes,

  3. Looking for a heavily carved English buffet hunting cabinet. Someyjing not too pricey as I eould need to ship it to JENKS, Ok. 74037.

    • Did you find what you were looking for. We are in McAlester Ok and are starting an estate sale that has several heavily carved buffets or cabinets . Will Post Pictures if you like


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