A Fine Louis XVI Style Gilt-Bronze Mounted Marquetry Commode
A Fine Louis XVI Style Gilt-Bronze Mounted Marquetry Commode

After JEAN-HENRI RIESENER (1735-1806)

A Fine Louis XVI Style Gilt-Bronze Mounted Marquetry Commode

c. 1870 France

Offered by Adrian Alan


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A Fine Louis XVI Style Gilt-Bronze Mounted Marquetry Commode After a Model by Jean Henri Riesener.

The central door with a still life panel of floral marquetry and a ewer, within a gilt-bronze frame and walnut surround, flanked by panels of trellis marquetry. The frieze is finely chiselled with scrolling foliate mounts and is surmounted by a shaped breche violette marble top. The scrolling gilt-bronze feet are put down on gilt-bronze plinths.

The origin of the design is derived from the cabinet work of the renowned 18th century ébéniste de Roi, (King's cabinet maker) Jean-Henri Riesener, who was responsible for many important contributions to the formation of the Louis XVI style in France. The distinctive repetition of stylized rosette and interlaced lattice work marquetry on the present example, punctuated by fine floral marquetry panels and gilt-bronze mounts is redolent of some of the most celebrated examples of his oeuvre.

This commode can be related to two notable commodes namely one made for the bedchamber at Versailles of the Comtesse de Provence, latterly in the music room at Hamilton Palace and now at Waddesdon Manor. Another commode providing direct comparison was made for Marie-Antoinette in the 1780's, and also formerly in the collection of the Duke of Hamilton at Hamilton Palace, now in the Frick Collection.

Riesener when describing the identical stylised rosette and interlaced lattice work, as appears on this commode, on the desk for the Comte d'Orsay, talks of 'mosaic' marquetry in the taste of Boulle'. This marquetry equivalent of the inlaid brass and tortoiseshell work of Andre Charles Boulle is derived from almost identical patterns used by Boulle on items such as the impressive Four Continents Clock now in the Wallace Collection, London. Yet this geometrical device and indeed many other Boulle patterns of the time can be related to Japanese and Chinese lacquer work. For instance the designs employed on the Four Continents Clock, are virtually identical to that employed on a lacquer cabinet, now in the Wallace Collection, that was produced for the European market in Kyoto around 1680. As time progressed the taste for the oriental became more generalised and interpretations became looser and less dependent on specific original sources.

An almost identical commode to the present example also dating from the mid-nineteenth century is illustrated in Christopher Payne, 'Dictionary of Nineteenth Century Furniture', page 92 . This popular model was made by the most important Parisian cabinet makers in the second half of the 19th century, such as, amongst others, Paul Sormani and François Linke.
Chastang, Yannick: 'Paintings in Wood: French Marquetry Furniture', The Wallace Collection, (London), 2001.

Pradere, Alexandre: 'French Furniture Makers: The Art of the Ebeniste from Louis XVI to the Revolution', (Paris), p. 371 - 388.
Height 95.00 cm (37.40 inches)
Width 170.00 cm (66.93 inches)
Depth 68.00 cm (26.77 inches)
Stock Code
Adrian Alan

Adrian Alan
66/67 South Audley Street

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