Designed in the robust French/antique or Grecian fashion popularised during George IV's Regency, this pattern of Elegant Rosewood Commode was invented about 1813 for James Henry Leigh (d.1823) of Stoneleigh Abbey, Warwickshire by the Mayfair cabinet-maker George Oakley (d.1840) of Oakley & Co.'s Bond Street Manufactory and Magazine for fashionable Furniture.
This commode-table, intended for a Drawing Room window-pier, conceals bookshelves behind its glazed and silk-lined doors and is appropriately designed to evoke Ovid's Metamorphoses and history of the Mt. Parnassus triumph of the sun-god Apollo as poetry-deity. Golden Apollonian sunflower bas-reliefs embellish the frieze above altar-tripod pilasters, which are inlaid with golden flutes and terminate in his sacred griffin lion-paws; while the triumphal palm-flowered china-rail is fretted in ormolu as adopted for related Leigh commodes, including one with chiffonier top that were invoiced in 1819 (sold by descent at Christie's, London, 8 June 2006, lots 24-26). By 1807 Oakley had already been noted as 'famous for goods in the latest fashion' ( E.T. Joy, English Furniture 1800-1850, pp. 122).