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    Sale 1993

    Important English Furniture

    25 April 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 65

    AN EARLY GEORGE III KINGWOOD AND ROSEWOOD PARQUETRY COMMODE**

    ATTRIBUTED TO PIERRE LANGLOIS, CIRCA 1765

    Price Realised  

    AN EARLY GEORGE III KINGWOOD AND ROSEWOOD PARQUETRY COMMODE**
    ATTRIBUTED TO PIERRE LANGLOIS, CIRCA 1765
    The serpentine top with kingwood crossbanding and rosewood-banded border above a conforming case fitted with three long drawers each with parquetry panels, the sides with foliate and shell-cast ormolu chutes and foliate-scrolled sabots united by foliate-banded ormolu, the scalloped apron mounted with foliate-cast ormolu, on scrolled feet
    33½ in. (55 cm.) high, 48¼ in. (122.5 cm.) wide, 22½ in. (57 cm.) deep


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    The 'commode' chest-of-drawers, of Roman 'sarcophagus' form, is elegantly serpentined and ormolu-enriched in the French 'picturesque' fashion introduced in the 1750s by the Paris-trained ébéniste Pierre Langlois (d. 1767) of Tottenham Court Road, London. Its top is parquetried with a 'Roman' lozenge-rayed tablet, that is also serpentined and hollow-cornered, while the drawers' ribbon-banded and parquetried tablets serve to frame golden escutcheons and handle-plates enriched with Roman acanthus. While its parquetry may be intended to recall the lozenged compartments of Rome's Temple of Venus, the golden cartouches of its apron and angle mounts are enriched with palm leaves and flowers. The mounts of its 'truss' feet comprise Ionic acanthus-wrapped volutes, and they correspond to that of a design that has been attributed to Langlois, and is now preserved at West Wycombe Park, Buckinghamshire (P. Thornton & W. Rieder, 'Pierre Langlois, Ebéniste', Part 2, Connoisseur, February 1972, fig. 3).

    Langlois' furniture mounts, some cast from Paris patterns dating from the later 1740s, have been attributed to the French émmigré metalworker Peter Dominique Jean (d. 1807). Most of the mounts of the present commode also appear on a pair of similarly parquetried commodes commissioned for Sherborne Castle, Dorset by Henry, 7th Baron & 1st Earl Digby (d. 1793) around the time of his marriage in 1763 (ibid., fig. 17). The black-painted backboards are a feature commonly associated with the cabinet-work of Pierre Langlois.

    A closely related commode attributed to Langlois was sold anonymously, Christie's, London, 2 May 2002, lot 10.

    Special Notice

    Prospective purchasers are advised that several countries prohibit the importation of property containing materials from endangered species, including but not limited to coral, ivory and tortoiseshell. Accordingly, prospective purchasers should familiarize themselves with relevant customs regulations prior to bidding if they intend to import this lot into another country.


    Pre-Lot Text

    THE PROPERTY OF A LADY OF TITLE