European Armoires

Many believe it was an inventive Frenchman who turned the chest on its side, creating the first armoire. Replacing easily-transportable medieval trunks as stay-at-home storage pieces, the earliest armoires had regal origins in the castles and stately palaces of European nobility. Until the end of the 13th century, the French armoire was primarily decorated with hand-painted door panels and elaborate hinges. Beginning in the 14th century, armoires began developing a more architectural look, with gracefully sculpted bodies enhanced by gilding and lavish embellishment.

In the Renaissance era, French armoires, like all furniture of the period, were heavily influenced by Italian furniture-making. It wasn't long before European armoires spread across the world and began taking on myriad forms.

One of the most important pieces of furniture in continental homes from the 17th through 19th centuries, armoires still have a prominent place in many residences throughout Europe and around the world.


Quick Facts

  • In the 18th century, the French armoire was considered one of the most valuable possessions of an estate.
  • In November 2003 at Skinner, a painted Italian Provincial armoire sold for below its estimate, only reaching $881
  • A British Arts & Crafts Movement Smee and Cobay Armoire rendered in oak (circa 1900) sold at Skinner in 2013 for $3,690

Recommended Items at Auction

See all items

ARMADIO XIX-XX SECOLO - WARDROBE 19TH-20TH CENTURY
Oct 21, 10:00 AM CEST
ARMADIO XIX-XX SECOLO - WARDROBE 19TH-20TH CENTURY
by Aste Bolaffi
Est: €0- €0
€3000 Bids
20TH C. ITALIAN ROCOCO-STYLE BURL WALNUT ARMOIRE
Oct 24, 10:00 AM EDT
20TH C. ITALIAN ROCOCO-STYLE BURL WALNUT ARMOIRE
by Ahlers & Ogletree Inc.
Est: $600- $1,200
$3000 Bids
19TH C. FRENCH PROVINCIAL OAK ARMOIRE
Oct 24, 10:00 AM EDT
19TH C. FRENCH PROVINCIAL OAK ARMOIRE
by Ahlers & Ogletree Inc.
Est: $500- $1,000
$2500 Bids
FRENCH LOUIS XV STYLE ORNATE CARVED ARMOIRE
Oct 24, 10:00 AM EDT
FRENCH LOUIS XV STYLE ORNATE CARVED ARMOIRE
by Ahlers & Ogletree Inc.
Est: $2,000- $4,000
$1,0000 Bids
bp parity badge
French Provincial Oak Armoire
Oct 23, 10:00 AM CDT
French Provincial Oak Armoire
by New Orleans Auction Galleries
Est: $1,400- $1,800
$1,2000 Bids
bp parity badge
French Provincial Fruitwood Armoire
Oct 23, 10:00 AM CDT
French Provincial Fruitwood Armoire
by New Orleans Auction Galleries
Est: $1,000- $1,500
$6000 Bids
bp parity badge
French Provincial Polychromed Armoire
Oct 23, 10:00 AM CDT
French Provincial Polychromed Armoire
by New Orleans Auction Galleries
Est: $1,500- $2,500
$1,3000 Bids
bp parity badge
ARMADIO
Oct 21, 9:00 PM CEST
ARMADIO
by Trionfante Antiques s.r.l
Est: €300- €400
€2000 Bids
FRENCH PROVINCIAL OAK ARMOIRE, 19TH C., 101.5"H
Oct 23, 10:00 AM CDT
FRENCH PROVINCIAL OAK ARMOIRE, 19TH C., 101.5"H
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $700- $1,000
$5000 Bids
bp parity badge
ARMADIO LIBERTY 1 ANTA
Oct 21, 9:00 PM CEST
ARMADIO LIBERTY 1 ANTA
by Trionfante Antiques s.r.l
Est: €100- €150
€500 Bids
bp parity badge
COLONIAL STYLE POLYCHROMED MINIATURE ARMOIRE
Oct 20, 10:00 AM EDT
COLONIAL STYLE POLYCHROMED MINIATURE ARMOIRE
by Litchfield Auctions
Est: $80- $120
$400 Bids
Art Deco Two Door Armoire
Oct 24, 12:00 PM EDT
Art Deco Two Door Armoire
by Main Auction Galleries
Est: $200- $400
$1000 Bids
FRENCH PROVINCIAL CARVED OAK WEDDING ARMOIRE
Oct 24, 10:00 AM CDT
FRENCH PROVINCIAL CARVED OAK WEDDING ARMOIRE
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $800- $1,200
$6000 Bids
MINIATURE CONTINENTAL PAINTED ARMOIRE
Nov 13, 11:00 AM EST
MINIATURE CONTINENTAL PAINTED ARMOIRE
by Thomaston Place Auction Galleries
Est: $1,800- $2,400
$9000 Bids
Victorian Walnut Armoire
Oct 30, 10:00 AM EDT
Victorian Walnut Armoire
by Regency Auction House
Est: $200- $300
$1000 Bids
SINGLE-DOOR OAK WARDROBE
Oct 25, 6:00 PM PDT
SINGLE-DOOR OAK WARDROBE
by O'Gallerie
Est: $200- $300
$1000 Bids
bp parity badge
An early Victorian gothic revival oak breakfront wardrobe in the manner of Thomas King
Oct 19, 9:30 AM BST
An early Victorian gothic revival oak breakfront wardrobe in the manner of Thomas King
by Bonhams
Est: £3,000- £4,000
£3,0000 Bids
Louis XV/XVI Provincial Mahogany Armoire
Oct 21, 10:00 AM EDT
Louis XV/XVI Provincial Mahogany Armoire
by Stair
Est: $1,000- $1,500
$5000 Bids
Victorian Walnut Mirrored Door Armoire, H: 75-1/4; W: 48-3/4; D: 18-3/4 in
Oct 19, 10:00 AM EDT
Victorian Walnut Mirrored Door Armoire, H: 75-1/4; W: 48-3/4; D: 18-3/4 in
by Weschler's
Est: $50- $100
$250 Bids

Sellers Who Sell European Armoires


New Orleans Auction Galleries

New Orleans Auction Galleries

Vickers & Hoad

Vickers & Hoad

Ahlers & Ogletree Inc.

Ahlers & Ogletree Inc.

Austin Auction Gallery

Austin Auction Gallery