Gomm invoiced on 30 May 1763 'An Exceeding fine Serpentine Commode Dressing Table 4 foot behind & with 4 long Drawers with Blocks at the Corners neatly Carved the Back panel in Wainscott very good for ads Locks & neat strong plain Brass Work, Thread Scutcheons & on far @ 12.12 for No. 1 One Ditto for No. 8.@ 12.12_. One Ditto for No. 14 @ 12.12_ One Ditto for No. 21@ 12.12_' The numbering presumably relates to the bedroom for which they were intended. The present chests also bear such a numerical system marked on the backboards, which suggests that these were supplied in fairly large quantities. Of further interest is that the bill lists '6 Strong Packing Cases for do & Matts@ 14 ea @ 4.4_' indicating the close attention Gomm paid totransporting his pieces.
The commode was a fashionable item of French origin in the 18th century and popularised by Thomas Chippendale, who illustrated a variety of forms in his Director (1754-62). They were popular bedroom accessories and outfitted with drawers for clothes before the general introduction of small dressing tables.
Another commode supplied by Gomm for the larger sum of 15 guineas was probably that sold by Lord Leigh, in these Rooms, 3 May, 1962, lot 54, and sold anonymously, 5 July, 1990, lot 149. A similar pair of commodes to the present lot and supplied by Gomm for 12 guineas was sold by Lord Leigh, in these Rooms, 3 May, 1962, lot 53.