A bonnetière is a tall, narrow cabinet with one door that was used throughout the eighteenth century for storing caps (hats) and headdresses.
Count Amaury de Rougé, owner of Caylus Antiques in France tells me that the bonnetiere were made with pieces of wood called "marotte" or "sidonie" and the origin of the piece was western France.
"It was used more often in farms to keep hairdresses and laces that were very important for them," Rougé says.This beautiful 18th Century Bonnetiere recently came up for auction. It is made of oak and has a mellow, reddish-gold patina that only comes with age. The carvings along the top of the door are of fruit. To learn more about this particular bonnetiere or to make an offer for purchase, please contact Dimitri Musing at Musing Antiques.
The bonnetiere should not be confused with the homme-debout, which was a cabinet with two doors and a drawer at medium height for laces. (More on the homme-debout and its fascinating history in a future post)
Don't know the difference between a chiffonniere and a baluster? This website has a wonderful glossary of French furniture terms and a knowledge center.