MAYHEW AND INCE
The Sainsbury commode is almost identical to the pair with ebonised borders acquired for Langford Grove, Essex, by Nicholas Wescomb; passing by descent to the Seymour family at Thrumpton Hall, Nottinghamshire, the pair was sold at Christie's London, 3 July 1997, lot 97.
These three commodes display many of the features that have been identified as characteristic of the Golden Square firm of Mayhew and Ince (The Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1660-1840, Leeds, 1986, pp. 589-593). Prime among these is the use of yew-wood as a large scale veneer, 'the only wholly idiosyncratic veneer wood the firm used and possibly unique to Mayhew and Ince among London cabinet-makers of this date' (ibid., p. 593). They supplied a veneered yew-wood commode to Sir Brook Bridges of Goodnestone Park, Kent, that was exhibited in Treasures from Kent Houses, Royal Museum, Canterbury, September - October 1984, no. 57. The firm also supplied a commode, almost identical to that from Goodnestone, to the antiquarian James West for Alscot Park, Warwickshire, in 1766 at a cost of £12 12s.
These commodes belong to a group of yew-wood and marquetry commodes attributed to Mayhew and Ince that share the same distinctive angle-mounts. These include a smaller pair originally commissioned by the Tollemache family for Ham House, Richmond (sold from the collection of Mrs. Derek Fitzgerald at Sotheby's, London, 5 July 1963, lot 156); the other pair was sold by Thomas Ernest Inman, Esq., Christie's London, 29 November 1979, lot l02.
In France, this angle-mount was much used by Joseph Baumhauer (maître in 1749), for example on a bureau plat illustrated in P. Kjellberg, Le Mobilier Francais du XVIIIe Siècle, Paris, 1987, p. 454). In England its use by other makers included the pair of commodes from Blaise Castle, Bristol, which was sold from the Messer Collection, in these Rooms, 5 December 1991, lot 117. The most glamorous use of the model is on a pair of commodes that was supplied under the direction of James Cullen for the State Apartment at Hopetoun House, Edinburgh (A. Coleridge, Chippendale Furniture, London, 1968, fig. 416).