The finely drawn marquetry and neoclassical form of this rare pair of commodes and en suite comodini relates to the oeuvre of the most celebrated Milanese ébéniste of the late 18th/ early 19th century, Giuseppe Maggiolini (1738-1814), Intarsiatore delle Loro Altesse Reali, who influenced north Italian production of the time with his characteristic neoclassical style combining delicate foliate motifs with classical figures and architectural rigueur. It is particularly rare to still find today a pair of commodes with their en suite comodini undisturbed, as these groups were often separated through family divisions, however in this suite has been kept in the same private collection for at least a century until today.
All four elements of the suite have been proudly exhibited in the 1938 commemorative exhibition of Giuseppe Maggiolini’s oeuvre in Milano, one of the commodes being illustrated in the catalogue. They were at the time thought to have been executed by Giuseppe Maggiolini, however recent research suggests that it is more the oeuvre of an ébéniste working alongside Maggiolini, even if the former has not yet been identified. The suite is described in the 1938 exhibition catalogue as follows: ‘ ‘n.29-30: CASSETTONI a tre cassetti, in palissandro intarsiato in mogano, legno rosa, noce, bosso, acero natural e tinto. Nel frontale, tra cartocci e volute di foglie d’acanto e di fiori, ovale con figura maschile settecentesca; ai lati due colonnine ioniche in legno dorato. In alto, fascia che riprende sui fianchi, in cui piccole volute si alterano a riquadri con figurine di guerrieri classiche. Nei fianchi, medaglioni con figure classiche. Piedi piramidali. Piano di marmo Bardiglio, incastrato in un labbro finemente intarsiato. 93x125x59. Tav.13’ and ‘31-32: COMODINI negli stessi legni e di disegno analogo. Ovali solo nelle fronti, con figure classiche. 88x63x43. Espositore, c.s.’