REF NO : B76582

A Louis XVI Style Gilt-Bronze Mounted Mahogany and Ebonised Commode à l’Anglaise

France, Circa 1880

£75,000

A Louis XVI Style Gilt-Bronze Mounted Mahogany and Ebonised Commode à l'Anglaise The original marble top of Italian fleur de pêcher marble. The centre...

Dimensions

Height: 94 cm (38 in)
Width: 187 cm (74 in)
Depth: 96 cm (38 in)
REF NO : B76582

Description

A Louis XVI Style Gilt-Bronze Mounted Mahogany and Ebonised Commode à l’Anglaise

The original marble top of Italian fleur de pêcher marble. The centre frieze drawer applied with neo-classical attributes of love including cupid’s bow amidst floral garlands. The curved sides with concealed frieze drawers. The central cupboard door enclosing an interior fitted with a shelf. The sides with mirrored back panels around marble lined shelves.

The door is lavishly mounted in gilt-bronze with floral swags, and branches creating the ‘MA’ cypher for Queen Marie Antoinette. Accordingly, this side cabinet or ‘Commode à l’Anglaise’, was one of the most celebrated and desirable pieces of French furniture made during the nineteenth century because, as a model, it was considered to have direct lineage to the refined and superior taste of Queen Marie Antoinette.

This type of low cabinet with open shelves to the sides was thought to appeal especially to the English market and therefore became known as a ‘Commode à l’Anglaise’ in reference to wealthy English collectors who, led by the Prince Regent, bought up French royal furniture after the revolution.

The original commode was conceived under the direction of Jean Hauré, Entrepreneur des Meubles de la Couronne and probably made by Joseph Stöckel in 1786. It was bought by the crown from the marchand-mercier Philippe-Ambroise Sauvage for the salon des jeux de la Reine at Compiègne that same year. It was later modified by Guillaume Benneman for the chambre de la Reine at Saint-Cloud, but its present whereabouts are unknown. Benneman made two copies in 1787 to replace the one formerly at Compiègne; the bronzes and gilding were produced by Galle, the bronze chasing executed by Tournay. That pair remain at Compiègne. Guillaume Benneman was one of Marie-Antoinette’s preferred ébénistes who created splendid and profusely-mounted furniture for the royal palaces. Though this example is apparently unsigned, the popular model was reproduced by a number of pre-eminent nineteen century cabinetmakers, including François Linke and Alfred Beurdeley.

France, Circa 1880.

Date

Circa 1880

Origin

France

Medium

Mahogany and Gilt-Bronze

Literature

C. Payne, François Linke 1855-1946 The Belle Epoque of French Furniture, Woodbridge, 2003, p. 200, pl. 216, for a Linke black and white cliché of the original commode by Guillaume Benneman at the Louvre.
D. Ledoux-Lebard, Le Mobilier Français du XIX Siècle, Paris, 2000, pp. 146-151
C. Payne, 19th Century European Furniture, Woodbridge, 1981 p. 35
P. Verlet, Le Mobilier Royal Français, Vol. I, 1990, p. 244, plate XX, fig. 15.; and P. Kjellberg, Le Mobilier Français du XVIIIe Siècle, 2002, p. 54-65, p. 62, for illustrations of the 18th century model by Benneman.

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