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A GEORGE III ORMOLU-MOUNTED FUSTIC, AMARANTH AND KINGWOOD COMMODE
PROPERTY FROM A TEXAS ESTATE
A GEORGE III ORMOLU-MOUNTED FUSTIC, AMARANTH AND KINGWOOD COMMODE

BY PIERRE LANGLOIS, THE MOUNTS ATTRIBUTED TO DOMINIQUE JEAN, CIRCA 1765

Details
A GEORGE III ORMOLU-MOUNTED FUSTIC, AMARANTH AND KINGWOOD COMMODE BY PIERRE LANGLOIS, THE MOUNTS ATTRIBUTED TO DOMINIQUE JEAN, CIRCA 1765 The serpentine case with a conforming quarter-veneered top above three inlaid paneled drawers mounted with mask escutcheons and foliate and cartouche handles above a shaped apron, the angles with foliate and floral spray mounts and scrolled ormolu feet 34 in. (86.5 cm.) high, 53½ in. (136 cm.) wide, 22¾ in. (58 cm.) deep
Provenance
Acquired from Mallett, London, 8 September 1972.

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Lot Essay

This commode can be confidently ascribed to the pre-eminent émigré cabinet-maker Pierre Langlois (d.1781) who was recorded working at 39 Tottenham Court Road in London from 1759. His French origin is revealed by his trade card, which incorporates various examples of furniture and objects in the highly fashionable French or 'modern' style. The text appears in both French and English and while the English text advertises 'all Sorts of Fine Cabinets and Commodes, made & inlaid in the Politest manner with Brass & Tortoiseshell...' the corresponding text in French is actually more explicit in stating the various types of furniture produced by the workshop and lists floral marquetry and gilt-bronze mounts as a specialty of the workshop. Langlois received commissions from prominent members of the aristocracy including the Dukes of Bedford and Northumberland, and the Earl of Coventry, as well as Sir Lawrence Dundas and Horace Walpole. The quarter-veneered panels are distinctively Langlois as is the constructional feature of a black-washed paneled back.
The distinctive repertoire of mounts, also derived from French prototypes, appear on a number of Langlois commodes. These can be attributed to the French émigré metalworker Dominique Jean (d. 1807). A contemporary reference in Matthew Boulton's diary for 1769 notes 'Mr. Dominique, ou Mns Langlois, Ebenistre, Tottenham Court Road. Mr. Dominique married the daughter of Mns Langlois who sells inld wood cabinets on the same side as Piercy Street Tottenham Court you see a sign of commode tables &c Mr. Dominique is a French gilder he gets up work himself' (N. Goodison, 'Langlois and Dominique', Furniture History, 1968, p. 106). Jean was also probably responsible for the brass sconces and lanterns which appear on Langlois's trade card.
Most notably, the same combination of mounts features on a pair of commodes commissioned by Henry, 7th Baron and 1st Earl Digby (d. 1793) for Sherborne Castle, Dorset around the time of his marriage in 1763 (P. Thornton & W. Rieder, 'Pierre Langlois, Ébeniste', Part 4, The Connoisseur, April 1972, fig. 17). Others in various combinations appear on other commodes from other documented commissions such as Croome Court and West Wycombe Park among others attributed to Langlois (Thornton and Rieder, Part 2, February 1972, figs. 10 and 12).

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