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    Sale 7560

    Furniture and Carpets Including Two Private Collections

    24 January 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 140

    A PAIR OF DUTCH ORMOLU-MOUNTED TULIPWOOD, WALNUT, AMARANTH AND ROSEWOOD PARQUETRY SERPENTINE COMMODES

    LATE 18TH CENTURY

    Price Realised  

    A PAIR OF DUTCH ORMOLU-MOUNTED TULIPWOOD, WALNUT, AMARANTH AND ROSEWOOD PARQUETRY SERPENTINE COMMODES
    LATE 18TH CENTURY
    Each with serpentine cube parquetry diagonally-banded top above two trellis-inlaid drawers, between canted angles headed by goat's masks and simulated flutes, on square tapering fluted legs with brass ball feet, the metalwork probably added later and English, the tops later
    31½ in. (80 cm.) high; 39¼ in. (99.5 cm.) wide; 19 in. (48 cm.) deep (2)


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    A similar pair of commodes are in a private collection in Aberdeenshire and the same handles feature on a George III satinwood secretaire-cabinet, sold anonymously, Christie's, London, 22 November 2007, lot 623, suggesting that the handles on the present commodes may have been added in England in the 18th century. Such cube parquetry, influenced by French cabinet-makers of the mid-18th century, also features on a Dutch medal-cabinet probably made in Amsterdam circa 1770-75 (R. Baarsen, Aspecten van de Nederlandse meubelkunst in de tweede helft van de achttiende eeuw, Amsterdam, 1993, pp. 31-32, figs. 22-23). It also features on commodes attributed to The Hague cabinet-maker, Matthijs Horrix (1735-1809), the most prominent representative of the French style and supplier of furniture to the Stadholder's court from 1767 until 1795. A commode attributed to Horrix featuring such cube parquetry was offered anonymously, Christie's, London, 2 December 1998, lot 155.
    THE ICONOGRAPHY
    The serpentined 'pier-commode tables' have Roman-mosaiced parquetry of trompe l'oiel cubes, inlaid in the tops' tablets, whose ribbon-bands are serpentined in Cupid-bows with cut corners at the front, and hollowed corners at the back. Their golden bas relief ornament of bacchic ram-heads, bearing festive garlands, evokes lyric poetry. Those tied at the angles by Egyptian-striated tablets bear Jupiter's oak that festoons and herm-tapered pilasters, which are inlaid with trompe l'oiel flutes; while handles are provided by Apollo's laurel garlands that are held by the heads that embellish the drawer tablets, whose flowered lozenge mosaic recalls Rome's temple of Venus.

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    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN