• Christies auction house James Christie logo

    Sale 1987

    Important European Furniture, Works of Art, Ceramics, Carpets, And Glass

    20 May 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 360

    A NORTH ITALIAN BLUE-PAINTED AND PARCEL-GILT JAPANNED COMMODE

    VENICE MID-18TH CENTURY, THE GILT-JAPANNED DECORATION ADDED LATER OVER THE BLUE WHICH IS PROBABLY ORIGINAL

    Price Realised  

    Estimate

    A NORTH ITALIAN BLUE-PAINTED AND PARCEL-GILT JAPANNED COMMODE
    VENICE MID-18TH CENTURY, THE GILT-JAPANNED DECORATION ADDED LATER OVER THE BLUE WHICH IS PROBABLY ORIGINAL
    The shaped and inset 'levanto rosso' marble stop above two drawers, the drawers and sides decorated with landscape scenes within ruffle and c-scroll-carved cartouches, on cabriole legs
    32¾ in. (83 cm.) high, 45 in. (114 cm.) wide, 22¾ in. (58 cm.) deep


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    This attractive commode's exaggerated bombé shape, cartouche-form drawers and delicate decoration of landscape vignettes and floral sprays make it a typical example of mid-18th century Venetian furniture. With its amusing and naturalistic painted decoration, lacquerware produced in Venice and Genoa differs from other centers, which were strictly imitating oriental and chinoiserie lacquer. The intaiador executed and gessoed the carcases and supplied them to depentori who decorated the pieces with their own interpretations, often leaving little oriental influence to their production. It was then varnished with eighteen layers of sandracca.

    The rage for lacquered furniture was sparked by the increasing frequency of trade with the Orient. It reached its apogee in the mid 18th century as Venetian aristocrats decorated entire rooms in their Palazzi in this new fashion. The best examples still visible today are probably the rooms of the Palazzo Ca'Rezzonico in Venice. Some are entirely furnished with chinoiserie-decorated lacquer furniture, while other rooms display furniture with floral painted lacquer and gilt-scroll decoration as illustrated in G. Mariacher, Ca' Rezzonico,, Milan, 1967, 165-168.

    A related commode was sold by the Order of the Trustees of the William Rockhill Nelson Trust, Christie's, New York, 27 September 2007, lot 185.