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    Sale 7745

    Important European Furniture, Sculpture & Clocks

    9 July 2009, London, King Street

  • Lot 141

    A PAIR OF GERMAN ORMOLU-MOUNTED, KINGWOOD, SYCAMORE AND FRUITWOOD MARQUETRY COMMODES

    ATTRIBUTED TO JOHANN FRIEDRICH AND HEINRICH WILHELM SPINDLER, POTSDAM, CIRCA 1765-70

    Price Realised  

    A PAIR OF GERMAN ORMOLU-MOUNTED, KINGWOOD, SYCAMORE AND FRUITWOOD MARQUETRY COMMODES
    ATTRIBUTED TO JOHANN FRIEDRICH AND HEINRICH WILHELM SPINDLER, POTSDAM, CIRCA 1765-70
    Each inlaid overall with floral sprays within shaped cartouches, with a serpentine-fronted top, above two bombé drawers decorated sans traverse and with foliate-cast scroll handles, above a shaped apron mounted with a shell flanked by foliage, the keeled angles with pierced foliate mounts, the shaped sides conformingly inlaid, on splayed legs mounted with rockwork and foliage, previously further mounted
    32¾ in. (83 cm.) high; 28¼ in. (72 cm.) wide; 18 in. (46 cm.) deep (2)


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    Most probably conceived for a private apartment these exquisite commodes are of slender proportions but display the full splendour of the Spindler brothers' famous marquetry.
    Johann Friedrich (1726-1812) and Heinrich Wilhelm (1738-1788) most certainly trained with their father before taking over his atelier at the court in Bayreuth. Assisted by their brother Jacob (1724-1792), they executed the famous 'Marquetry Chamber' at Schloss Fantaisie near Bayreuth (the surviving panels of the boiserie being now preserved at the Bayerisches Nationalmuseum in Munich) before relocating to Potsdam in circa 1763 where they became Court ébénistes or Hofebenisten to Frederick the Great of Prussia (1712-1786). Their style was influenced by the prints and drawings of Jean-François Cuvilliès and Johann Michael Hoppenhaupt (Directeur des ornements for Frederik the Great) as well as by the works of Swiss sculptor Johann Melchior Kambly (1718-1783) who is known to have collaborated with the Spindlers and who embellished their furniture with sumptuous tortoiseshell, mother-of-pearl and bronze mounts. But it is undoubtedly the furniture and boiseries which they supplied for the rooms in the Neues Palais in Potsdam, that gave the Spindler brothers the unconditional recognition they deserved.

    Among examples most closely related to the present pair, a commode of comparable proportions, floral marquetry and mounts, also attributed to the Spindler brothers, was offered at Christie's, London, 14 July 1990, lot 120. For further comparables and information on the Spindler brothers, please refer to the catalogue note for lot 142.

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    Saleroom Notice

    This pair of commodes is of Dresden origin, circa 1770. Although related to examples attributed to the Spindler brothers in the 1991 issue of the Furniture History Journal, subsequent research has helped re-attribute these to Dresden. They are closely related to an example recorded in the Royal Saxon collections, formerly in the Residenzschloss Dresden and now at Schloss Pillnitz, and it has been suggested that the present commodes might also have been commissioned for the Residenzschloss (see G. Haase, Dresdener Möbel des 18. Jahrhunderts, Leipzig, 1983, cat 58, p. 272).


    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF A GENTLEMAN
    (LOTS 141-142)