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    Sale 7627

    Dealing in Excellence: A Celebration of Hotspur and Jeremy

    20 November 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 75



    Price Realised  


    The shaped rectangular moulded bleu turquin marble top above three graduated panelled drawer with rococo handles and pierced rockwork escutcheons, the lowest drawer centred by a pierced rockwork apron mount, between keeled angles with 'Joseph' foliate cartouche and acanthus-wrapped angles reaching to foliate sabots, the sides with concave-corner panels, the mounts original
    34¾ in. (88.5 cm.) high; 55¾ in. (141.5 cm.) wide; 27 in. (68.5 cm.) deep

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    Although no direct comparison to a commode attributed to Matthijs Horrix is possible, the known examples all having been executed in various veneers and floral marquetry; there are certain aspects of design and construction which do correspond to this group of commodes. The present commode, with daring absence of marquetry decoration achieves a striking effect through the quality of the mahogany veneers and strikingly beautiful beading. This subdued decoration accentuates the curvilinear shapes and rounded surface of this commode which has no single straight surface to any of its vertical planes. The outline of the beading with concave cut corners, as wel as the shape of the apron forming the lower edge of the bottom drawer can be found on a commode in the Royal Palace Huis Ten Bosch. This commode has similar concave cut corned panels delineated by the background veneer. (R.J. Baarsen, Aspecten van de Nederlandse meubelkunst in de tweede helft van de 18de eeuw, Alphen aan de Rijn, 1993, p. 62, pl 1; p. 84, pl. 7)
    Furthermore, the quality of the cabinetwork on the present commode with its thick drawer linings and carcase executed in the best quality oak rule out a lesser maker.
    Dutch furniture made in the fashionable XV style was imported into Holland in such large quantities that in the early 1770s cabinet-makers in Amsterdam and The Hague demanded a ban on this threat to their livelihood. As a result, numerous Dutch cabinet-makers emulated the fashionable French style. Although veneered furniture of this type were undoubtedly made in several Dutch towns, it was probably most admired in The Hague where, as the base of the Stadholder's court and foreign embassies, the French court style had been dominent throughout the 18th Century. (R.J. Baarsen, 'In de commode van Parijs tot Den Haag, Matthijs Horrix (1735-1809), een meubelmaker in Den Haag in de tweede helft van de achttiende eeuw', Oud Holland, vol. 107 (1993), pp. 161-255, p. 163.
    The distinctive ornamental gilt-bronze mounts which embellish Dutch furniture in the French style were, however, rarely produced in Holland. Remarkably, the mounts of this period can be traced to Britain and appear in sales catalogues of a Birmingham metalwork firm, which was almost certainly manufacturing mounts for export. Variations occur in the mounts of the commodes attributed to Horrix, although the mounts on the apron of this commode can be found on three other commodes (Baarsen, op. cit., pl. 12-14, 24, 32.).

    Special Notice

    This lot will be sold under the Alpha scheme. If you are an EU Purchaser, there is effectively no change: VAT is charged at 17.5% on the buyer''s premium ONLY on a VAT inclusive basis. VAT is accounted for under the auctioneer''s margin scheme. If you are a non-EU Purchaser: VAT, at 17.5%, will be payable on both the hammer price and the buyer''s premium. VAT on the hammer will be refunded upon receipt of export documentation by the VAT department. Non-EU trading businesses can receive a further VAT refund on the buyer''s premium directly from HM Revenue and Customs.


    The late Baron van der Borch van Verwolde; Christie's Amsterdam, 3-5 April 2007, lot 181.