Nicolas Sageot (1666-1731) maître in 1706.
This superb commode was probably executed by the ébéniste Nicolas Sageot circa 1710 and shows important similarities with other commodes by or attributed to him. This includes the magnificent commode, previously in the collections of the Dukes of Newcastle, Clumber Park, Nottinghamshire, sold, Christie's, London, 16 December 1999, lot 50 (£287,500), one from the Thyssen-Bornemisza collection, sold, Christie's, 14 December 2000, lot 320 (£168,750) and a further example, sold, Christie's, New York, 2 November 2000, lot 267.
The present lot also relates to further commodes possibly by Sageot, which are in the Wallace Collection, London (F39 and F408) and more particularly to that with inventory number F39. The various similarities between the commodes in the Wallace Collection and the
present lot, include the slightly serpentine front of the commode, the stepped gilt-bronze mounts to the edge of the top, and the
flower-shaped handles. Even more striking is the resemblance between
the tops to all three commodes, the motifs à la Bérain -
depicting Venus standing beneath a baldacchino - being virtually
identical. Such designs are said to be inspired by the arabesque
engravings of Jean Bérain (d.1711) as published in the Oeuvre de
Jean Bérain recueillies par les soins de sieur thuret of 1711.
Although the discovery of the Sageot stamp on the Clumber commode (above mentioned) has enabled the attribution to this little known maker of a group of commodes of closely related form and decoration, recorded in P. Grand, Le Mobilier Boulle et les ateliers de l'époque, L'Estampille/L'Objet d'Art, February 1993, pp. 60-61, Grand also suggests the specialist inlayer Toussaint Devoye (active c.1706-1748) as a possible marqueteur for this group of commodes. Similarly, the existence of two further commodes of this type, both stamped with the initials 'AG' (one sold Etude Tajan, Paris, 25 June 1996, lot 183, the other sold from the property of a European Collector, Christie's, New York, 21 October 1997, lot 31 ($255,500)), also leads to the possibility that Sageot, an active marchand, may have been the retailer of these commodes rather than the actual maker. The stamp 'AG' is almost certainly that of the ébéniste Auburtin Gaudron who supplied the Garde Meuble between 1686 and 1713.