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A LOUIS XIV ORMOLU-MOUNTED FRUITWOOD, EBONY, IVORY, KINGWOOD, AND MARQUETRY COMMODE**
Prospective purchasers are advised that several co… Read more
A LOUIS XIV ORMOLU-MOUNTED FRUITWOOD, EBONY, IVORY, KINGWOOD, AND MARQUETRY COMMODE**

CIRCA 1710

Details
A LOUIS XIV ORMOLU-MOUNTED FRUITWOOD, EBONY, IVORY, KINGWOOD, AND MARQUETRY COMMODE**
CIRCA 1710
Of rectangular form with outset rear edge and breakfront-form front edge with rounded corners, the top inlaid with a Bérainesque scene with large baldechin covering a flower-filled bouquet, issuing strapwork scrolls and lappeted lambrequins, with floral sprays and butterflies, the flower basket resting on a table issuing two cornucopiae of flowers, the upper sides inlaid with small cabaret scenes of a man drinking and a man smoking a pipe, the upper part of the panel inlaid with further grotesques, the lower part with two pagodas flanked by trees, above three conforming long drawers decorated sans traverse, with a central faux dividing simulated Ionic column, the panels of the drawers inlaid with foliate grotesque masks and bunches of flowers issuing from cornucopia, the rounded angles inaid with similar Ionic pilasters with interwoven floering vines, the sides similarly inlaid with bouquets issuing from vases on a table, issuing scrolls, the drawers relined, the feet possibly replaced
33½ in. (85 cm.) high, 50¾ in. (129 cm.) wide, 27 in. (69 cm.) deep
Provenance
Anonymous sale, Paris, Jean-Louis Picard, 21 December 1994, lot 144.
Literature
Le XVIIe siècle français, Collection Connaissance des Arts, Hachette, 1958, p. 66, fig. 3.
Y. Brunhammer and M. De Fayet, Meubles et Ensembles, Epoque Louis XIII et Louis XIV, Paris 1966, fig. 115, p. 77.
G. Janneau, Le Mobilier Français, Le Meuble Ebénisterie Le XVII ème Siècle Français, Paris, p. 66, pl. 34.
Exhibited
Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris, Louis XIV, Faste et Décors, May-October 1960, ex. cat., no. 90, pl. XXXVI.
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.

Lot Essay

The top of this richly inlaid marquetry commode is designed in the Louis XIV 'antique' or 'Roman' style. It depicts a flower basket beneath a canopy, flanked by grotesque and arabesque compositions of merrymakers around tables, within strapwork and drapery-swagged vignettes. At the sides, further flower urns rest on airy scrolled supports, and the angles are cleverly inlaid to imitate Ionic columns gently wrapped with floral trails.

The marquetry is unusual in its combination of naturalistic wood 'peinture en bois' and fantastic arabesque designs, all executed in wood and ivory. The naturalism of the flowers relates to the paintings of the artist Blain de Fontenay (d. 1715) and to the work produced in Paris in the late 17th century by 18th century master ébénistes Andre-Charles Boulle (ébéniste, Ciseleur, Doreur et Sculpteur du Roi in 1672) and Pierre Gole (circa 1620 - 1684). Simultaneously, the whimsical arabesque and grotesque patterns reflect the designs of the late 17th and 18th century ornemanistes, such as those published by Jean Bérain (1630-1711) and Paul Androuet Du Cerceau in his Livre d'Ornemens de feuillage, circa 1650, as well as Pierre Bourdon's Livre premier des essais de gravure (First book of print models) of 1703.

Related commodes entirely in naturalistic floral marquetry against an ebony ground include one sold from the estate of Ogden Phipps, Sotheby's New York, 19 October 2002, lot 115, and one sold anonymously, Christie's New York, 22 May 2002, lot 443. Examples of commodes with similar Bérainesque designs exist more commonly in Boulle marquetry (using metals against a tortoiseshell ground), such as a commode sold anonymously Christie's London, 1 December 2005, lot 124.

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