A GEORGE III ORMOLU-MOUNTED HAREWOOD, AMARANTH, INDIAN ROSEWOOD, LABURNUM AND MARQUETRY SERPENTINE BOMBE COMMODE
A GEORGE III ORMOLU-MOUNTED HAREWOOD, AMARANTH, INDIAN ROSEWOOD, LABURNUM AND MARQUETRY SERPENTINE BOMBE COMMODE
A GEORGE III ORMOLU-MOUNTED HAREWOOD, AMARANTH, INDIAN ROSEWOOD, LABURNUM AND MARQUETRY SERPENTINE BOMBE COMMODE
3 More
A GEORGE III ORMOLU-MOUNTED HAREWOOD, AMARANTH, INDIAN ROSEWOOD, LABURNUM AND MARQUETRY SERPENTINE BOMBE COMMODE
6 More
Prospective purchasers are advised that several co… Read more
A GEORGE III ORMOLU-MOUNTED HAREWOOD, AMARANTH, INDIAN ROSEWOOD, LABURNUM AND MARQUETRY SERPENTINE BOMBE COMMODE

ATTRIBUTED TO PIERRE LANGLOIS, CIRCA 1765

Details
A GEORGE III ORMOLU-MOUNTED HAREWOOD, AMARANTH, INDIAN ROSEWOOD, LABURNUM AND MARQUETRY SERPENTINE BOMBE COMMODE
ATTRIBUTED TO PIERRE LANGLOIS, CIRCA 1765
The moulded top inlaid with a central trophy of a lyre and ewer, scrolling ribbon-ties and paterae, above two cupboard doors with conforming inlay of two ribbon-tied ewer medallions and foliate garlands, on a waved apron and slightly splayed feet, minor restorations
35 ¼ in. (89.5 cm.) high; 55 ¼ in. (140.5 cm.) wide; 23 in. (58.5 cm.) deep
Provenance
The Viscounts Downe, Wykeham Abbey, Scarborough, Yorkshire.
Literature
M. Jourdain, 'Furniture at Wykeham Abbey - II', Apollo, vol. 47, January-June 1948, p. 9.
P. Thornton, W. Rieder, 'Pierre Langlois, Ébéniste. Part 4', The Connoisseur, April 1972, pp. 260-262, fig. 15.

COMPARATIVE LITERATURE
P. Macquoid, R. Edwards, The Dictionary of English Furniture, vol. II, London, 1954, p. 117, fig. 18.
E. Joy, ‘A pair of early neo-classic commodes’, The Connoisseur, May 1969, pp. 28-29.
P. Thornton, W. Rieder, 'Pierre Langlois, Ébéniste. Part 1', The Connoisseur, December 1971, pp. 283-288; 'Part 2', February 1972, pp. 105-112; 'Part 3', March 1972, pp. 176-187; 'Part 5', May 1972, pp. 30-35.
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.
This lot will be removed to Christie’s Park Royal. Christie’s will inform you if the lot has been sent offsite. Our removal and storage of the lot is subject to the terms and conditions of storage which can be found at Christies.com/storage and our fees for storage are set out in the table below - these will apply whether the lot remains with Christie’s or is removed elsewhere. Please call Christie’s Client Service 24 hours in advance to book a collection time at Christie’s Park Royal. All collections from Christie’s Park Royal will be by pre-booked appointment only. Tel: +44 (0)20 7839 9060 Email: cscollectionsuk@christies.com. If the lot remains at Christie’s it will be available for collection on any working day 9.00 am to 5.00 pm. Lots are not available for collection at weekends.

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Lot Essay

This marquetry commode is designed in the George III ‘French’ fashion introduced around 1760, and is attributed to the ébéniste Pierre Langlois (d. 1767) of Tottenham Court Road, London. Langlois’ name has become synonymous with this style of furniture; in 1971-2, Peter Thornton and William Rieder proposed in a series of articles on Langlois how his furniture can be distinguished from that of his contemporaries like John Cobb (d. 1778) based on specific constructional and stylistic features. They noted particularly how in Langlois’ commodes the doors are hinged on the front, the apron is fixed to the carcase (rather than forming the lower part of the drawer front) and the tops are usually moulded at the sides when made of wood, all distinctive features of the present commode.

This commode closely relates to a group of commodes by or attributed to Langlois, which have been identified as ‘Group XI’ by Thornton and Rieder, and include:
* a commode at West Wycombe Park, Buckinghamshire
* a pair of smaller commodes, also from West Wycombe
* a pair of commodes from the S. Eckman Jr. collection, sold Sotheby’s, London, 6 October 1967, lot 227, subsequently with H. Blairman & Sons, London, 1969, then Sotheby’s, New York, 23 May 1980, lot 177, and later, ‘The collection of John W. Kluge’, Christie’s, New York, 11 October 1990, lot 124
* a commode with Moss Harris, London, 1965 (ibid., p. 260)

To this group can be added:
* a pair of commodes sold Christie’s, London, 24 April 1980, lot 141
* a commode formerly in the collection of the Earls of Coventry, Croome Court, Worcestershire, sold Sotheby’s, New York, 11 October 1996, lot 181
* a pair of commodes sold Sotheby’s, New York, 7 April 2004, lot 193

This commode additionally displays the bombé form that characterises Langlois’ work although the weakening of the shape suggests a transitional phase further emphasised by the aesthetic severity of the contrasting dark and light veneers. The prominent chevron banding and marquetry ribbon of this commode is also found on the pair of smaller commodes from West Wycombe, and on ‘the Eckman’ and ‘Moss Harris’ commodes. The distinctive gilt-bronze mounts of this commode were possibly supplied by Langlois’ son-in-law, Dominique Jean (c. 1736-1812), bronze caster and gilder, with whom he shared his London workshop. Virtually identical mounts are also found on other Langlois furniture including the single West Wycombe commode, a commode formerly in the Leverhulme Collection and a commode sold from Bolney Lodge, West Sussex in September 2006.

VISCOUNT DOWNE, DINGLEY HALL AND WYKEHAM ABBEY

The present commode was formerly in the collection of Richard Dawnay, 10th Viscount Downe (d. 1965) at Wykeham Abbey, North Yorkshire, where it was photographed by Apollo in 1948. As Margaret Jourdain notes in her article, many of the furnishings at Wykeham Abbey were inherited and transferred from Dingley Hall, Northamptonshire. Dingley Hall and its contents were purchased by Hugh Richard Dawnay, 8th Viscount Downe (d. 1924), in 1883. The commode may have been transferred to Wykeham Abbey, which became the Downe family seat in 1909. However, Lord Downe was also an important collector, and this commode may have been one of his acquisitions.

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