The Antique Dictionary

A definitive resource on terms related to European antiques including core terms as well as history and context

panetière

derived from the French word for bread (pain) -  an ornate bread safe – These were typically hung on the wall and many retain original fittings on the back to that facilitated this, but they were also placed on table and cabinet tops, all in an effort to keep the bread safe from children and pets. 

 

The panetière originated in Provence but, over time, spread across all of France.  At the heart of nearly every traditional kitchen in Provence there would be a panetière, making these pieces 1) typical of French provincial style, 2) heirloom pieces that were passed down through families, 3) highly desirable. 

Highly decorative panetières were often given as wedding or anniversary gifts.  This explains why hey often appear with floral & musical carvings, symbolizing a flowering marriage with harmony in the home.  Today they are used to display florals, china, or collectibles.

1880s pannetiere.jpg