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    Sale 7608

    Important European Furniture and Sculpture

    10 July 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 45



    Price Realised  


    The shaped bianco e nero marble top with foliate-cast edge, above two shaped drawers with a moulded edge and a shaped apron, the square-sectioned cabriole legs terminating in rockwork and foliate-cast sabots, the back inscribed 'GR 1936', 'AF 1968' twice, with metal label reading 'PA 5639', and with chalk inscription reading 'Gower', the escutcheons replaced, previously but not originally with handles
    36 in. (91.5 cm.) high; 49½ in. (125.5 cm.) wide; 21¼ in. (54 cm.) deep

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    This boldly shaped parquetry commode, with its distinctive profile and striking trellis-parquetry in figured kingwood, is part of a small group of similarly shaped commodes and typical of the grandest production of Roman cabinet-making of the mid-18th century.

    A commode, that could well have been the pair to this one, was sold at Sotheby's, London, 4 December 2007, lot 17 (£ 84.500), differing only with its kingwood parquetry top. The bianco e nero veneered marble top with its distinctive Roman foliate-cast gilt-bronze edge is muhc more typical of Roman production, with Rome on of the prime sources for antique marbles.

    The vigorous shapes relate this commode to a small group of similarly high-hipped Roman commodes, which include an exceptional pair of ormolu-mounted parquetry commodes acquired by the Royal House of Savoy for the Villa Reale of Monza, and later transferred to Racconigi Castle, Turin. These commodes, with lavish ormolu mounts and conforming gilt-bronze foliate-cast mouldings to the marble tops, were sold by a member of a European Royal family at Christie's, London, 11 December 2003, lot 40 (£285,250). These commodes are almost identical to a pair of Roman commodes with trellis parquetry and identical escutcheons, in the Palazzo Quirinale, Rome, which had been acquired in Milan in 1899 from the dealer vedova Arigoni, for the bedroom of the Appartamento dei Ministri in the Villa Reale di Monza and were transferred to the Quirinale in 1919 (see A. González-Palacios, Il Patrimonio Artistico del Quirinale: I Mobili Italiani, Milan, 1996, cat. 20, pp. 74-75).

    Another related Roman parquetry commode, of slightly bombé form, but presenting a rare diaspro di Sicilia veneered marble top with its foliate-cast moulding, was sold at Christie's, New York, 22-23 October 2003, lot 681 ($107,550). Other related models include a commode sold at Christie's New York, 18 September 1993, lot 154 ($92,700), while a further is illustrated in M. Agnelli, ed., Mobili Italiani del Settecento, Milan, 1990, p. 80.

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