• 500 Years: Decorative Arts Eur auction at Christies

    Sale 7830

    500 Years: Decorative Arts Europe

    21 January 2010, London, King Street

  • Lot 100

    A LOUIS XV ORMOLU-MOUNTED AMARANTH, BOIS SATINE AND FLORAL-MARQUETRY BOMBE COMMODE

    BY PIERRE FLÉCHY, THIRD QUARTER 18TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A LOUIS XV ORMOLU-MOUNTED AMARANTH, BOIS SATINE AND FLORAL-MARQUETRY BOMBE COMMODE
    BY PIERRE FLÉCHY, THIRD QUARTER 18TH CENTURY
    The serpentine brêche d'Alep marble top above two drawers inlaid SANS TRAVERSE with flowering leafy branches, the sides similarly inlaid, and with keeled angles hung with scrolled foliate clasps, on slightly splayed tapering legs with foliate and cabochon sabot feet, stamped 'P FLECHY JME', and with a typed paper label 'SIGNED P.FLECHY PERIOD LOUIS XV', the back edge of the marble with paper label inscribed 'SOUTH WALL' and in red paint '16D', the back of the commode inscribed in red paint '160' twice and 'L.2221.23', and with paper label inscribed 'LOT 302' and '50', the marble probably 19th Century
    35 in. (89 cm.) high; 56 in. (142 cm.) wide; 27 in. (69 cm.) deep


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    Harry Payne Bingham, whose ancestor Charles Bingham was a Cleveland businessman, was a noted collector and a significant philanthropist. Among numerous other roles he was a trusteee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, to whom he bequeathed two paintings by Goya and other works of art. This commode was subsequently acquired by Mr & Mrs Charles B. Wrightsman, who in the post-war years created one of the most important collections of furniture and decorations, to rank alongside many a national collection. The catalogue of their collection, published in 1966 by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, details items with provenance from many great earlier generations of collectors, including the fourth Marquess of Hertford; Viscount Leverhulme; Baron Maurice de Rothschild and the Earl of Rosebery. Interestingly the Wrightsman catalogue includes a second, similar commode, listed consecutively (pp. 162-163) bearing the same provenance as the present lot. Much of the collection was gifted to the Metropolitan Museum and furnishes the museum's Wrightsman Galleries, while some was dispersed in sales in 1984.

    Pierre Fléchy, maître in 1756, was one of the many ébénistes working in the busy environs of the rue du Faubourg-Saint-Antoine. Fléchy specialised in marquetry of large flowers in bois-clair which covered the entire surface of commodes, secretaires and bureaux, all beautifully constructed and of the first quality.

    Special Notice

    No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium, which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.


    Provenance

    Harry Payne Bingham, New York (d.1955).
    Mr & Mrs Charles B. Wrightsman.
    Sotheby's, London, 24 June 1988, lot 50.


    Literature

    C. Packer. Paris Furniture, Newport, 1956, fig. 52A. F.J.B. Watson, The Wrightsman Collection, New York, 1966, vol.1, pp.160-161.