• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 12455

    European Furniture & Works of Art

    6 July 2016, London, King Street

  • Lot 45

    A GERMAN ORMOLU-MOUNTED MAHOGANY COMMODE

    CIRCA 1800, ATTRIBUTED TO HEINRICH LUDWIG HERMANN, MAINZ

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A GERMAN ORMOLU-MOUNTED MAHOGANY COMMODE
    CIRCA 1800, ATTRIBUTED TO HEINRICH LUDWIG HERMANN, MAINZ
    The moulded rectangular white marble top above a frieze drawer and two long drawers, each mounted with rosettes, on square tapering legs headed by garlands
    33 in. (84 cm.) high; 30 ¼ in. (77 cm.) wide; 16 in. (40.5 cm.) deep


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    With its refined geometric forms, figured mahogany veneers and drawer arrangement, this elegant commode relates to the mahogany furniture executed by the celebrated Neuwied cabinet-maker David Roentgen  (d. 1809) in the last quarter of the 18th century. Roentgen’s superbly-crafted furniture was prized in Germany and throughout Europe and had many followers such as Heinrich Gambs and Christian Meyer, who were based in St. Petersburg. The present commode relates very closely to a Schreibschrank made circa 1780-’90 by Heinrich Ludwig Hermann (master in 1759) in Mainz, one of Germany’s most important cabinet-making centres. This impressive piece is inlaid with figured woods and marquetry, further enhanced by various ormolu mounts. The rosettes to the drawers and trailing motifs to the legs that appear on the writing-cabinet, also appear on the present commode, which was executed a decade later, in Hermann’s very individual Zopfstil, deriving from Roentgen’s celebrated prototypes (H. Kreisel, G. Himmelheber, Die Kunst des Deutschen Moebels, vol. III, p. 59, fig 162).