A MATCHED PAIR OF LOUIS XVI ORMOLU-MOUNTED TULIPWOOD AND MARQUETRY COMMODES
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A MATCHED PAIR OF LOUIS XVI ORMOLU-MOUNTED TULIPWOOD AND MARQUETRY COMMODES

CIRCA 1770, ONE BY CHARLES TOPINO, THE OTHER ATTRIBUTED TO CHARLES TOPINO

Details
A MATCHED PAIR OF LOUIS XVI ORMOLU-MOUNTED TULIPWOOD AND MARQUETRY COMMODES
CIRCA 1770, ONE BY CHARLES TOPINO, THE OTHER ATTRIBUTED TO CHARLES TOPINO
Each with demilune bleu turquin marble top above a guilloche-mounted frieze with central drawer and two further long drawers inlaid sans traverse with floral marquetry, flanked to each side by a door decorated with floral bouquets, the chutes mounted with ribbon-tied trailing foliage on tapering faux-fluted legs, one commode stamped 'C. TOPINO' and 'JME', slight variations to marquetry and mounts, with stencilled number '50607X', each with a paper label typed 'FRENCH AND COMPANY 210 E. 57TH ST. N.Y.C. 22', one marble top later, apron mount of stamped commode re-cast after the Louis XVI mount of the other commode
34 in. (88 cm.) high; 56 in. (142.5 cm.) wide; 20 in. (52 cm.) deep (2)
Provenance
Miss Alice de Rothschild, sold Christie's, London, 23 November 1922, lot 116 (commode stamped Topino).
Fred Stettenheim.
with French and Company, New York, April 1951.
Mrs Enid A. Haupt, New York.
Arts of France, Christie's, New York, 23 October 1998, lot 166, where acquired by the present owner.
Literature
C. Packer, Paris Furniture by the Master Ébénistes, Newport, 1956, fig. 64 (one of the commodes).
A. Lewis, Albert Hadley - The Story of America's Preeminent Interior Designor, New York, 2004, p. 186 (illustrated in the collection of Mrs. Enid A. Haupt).
Special notice

VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 20% on the buyer's premium.

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Lot Essay

Charles Topino, maîre in 1773

One of the commodes was in the collection of Miss Alice de Rothschild, almost certainly at Waddesdon Manor, and was sold by her at Christie's London, 23 November 1922, lot 116. Alice de Rothschild (1847-1922) was the daughter of Baron Anselm Solomon (1803-1874) and Charlotte Bettina de Rothschild (1805-1886) and contributed to the creation of the fabulous collection assembled by her brother Ferdinand James (1839-1898) at Waddesdon. Upon her death in 1922 Waddesdon Manor was left to her first cousin Edmond (1845-1934), and his son offered the building and its clebrated collections to the National Trust.

It is not clear when the Rothschild commode was joined by its near pair; however, by the mid 20th century they are recorded together in New York, first with the dealers French and Company, and then, as shown in the photograph reproduced here, in the collection of the publisher and philanthropist Mrs. Enid A. Haupt (1906-2005).

Related commodes by Topino of this distinct demi-lune shape though with slight variations in marquetry and mounts have appeared at auction. A pair from the collection of Mr. Mortimer Schiff was sold at Christie's London, 22 June 1938, lot 62, while a pair formerly in the collection of the 6th Earl of Rosebery sold at Sotheby's, Mentmore Towers, 19 May 1977, lot 467, and subsequently Sotheby's New York, 19 November 1993, lot 63 and again 22 May 1997, lot 245. A matched pair, almost identical in proportions as well as treatment of marquetry and mounts to one of the commodes offered here, formerly in the collection of Miss Broadway, was sold at Christie's London, 3 July 1986, lot 126. It is also illustrated in P. Kjellberg, Le Mobilier Français du XVIII Siècle, 1989, p. 845. Another matched pair sold more recently at Christie's Paris, 13 December 2006, lot 298 (Euro 314,000).

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