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Antique French Louis XV Revival Marquetry Commode Chest c.1880

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Ref:08054
Price: £4,950.00
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This is a stunning antique French Louis XV Revival rosewood and satinwood marquetry commode, circa 1880 in date. 

This gorgeous commode has two capacious drawers for ample storage, and was inspired by the Louis XV style. Elaborately detailed, the commode features an exquisite marquetry inlay of rosewood, amaranth, tulipwood, ebony and satinwood with three Bois Violette shaped panels inlaid with musicians and scenes of dancing at court.

To complete the fascination of this wonderful commode it is surmounted with a beautiful Breche Violette marble top.

The elaborate marquetry decoration is further complimented by the exquisite gilded ormolu mounts that retain their original gilding.

A lot of intricate workmanship by a master craftsman has gone into the creation of this wonderful commode.


Condition:


In really excellent condition having been beautifully cleaned and polished in our workshops, please see photos for confirmation.
 
 

Dimensions in cm:

Height 89 x Width 115 x Depth 55

Dimensions in inches:

Height 2 feet, 11 inches x Width 3 feet, 9 inches x Depth 1 foot, 10 inches

Marquetry
is decorative artistry where pieces of material (such as wood, mother of pearl, pewter, brass silver or shell) of different colours are inserted into surface wood veneer to form intricate patterns such as scrolls or flowers.

The technique of veneered marquetry had its inspiration in 16th century Florence. Marquetry elaborated upon Florentine techniques of inlaying solid marble slabs with designs formed of fitted marbles, jaspers and semi-precious stones. This work, called opere di commessi, has medieval parallels in Central Italian "Cosmati"-work of inlaid marble floors, altars and columns. The technique is known in English as pietra dura, for the "hardstones" used: onyx, jasper, cornelian, lapis lazuli and colored marbles. In Florence, the Chapel of the Medici at San Lorenzo is completely covered in a colored marble facing using this demanding jig-sawn technique.

Techniques of wood marquetry were developed in Antwerp and other Flemish centers of luxury cabinet-making during the early 16th century. The craft was imported full-blown to France after the mid-seventeenth century, to create furniture of unprecedented luxury being made at the royal manufactory of the Gobelins, charged with providing furnishings to decorate Versailles and the other royal residences of Louis XIV. Early masters of French marquetry were the Fleming Pierre Golle and his son-in-law, André-Charles Boulle, who founded a dynasty of royal and Parisian cabinet-makers (ébénistes) and gave his name to a technique of marquetry employing shell and brass with pewter in arabesque or intricately foliate designs.


Violet Breche marble
is extracted from the town of Serravezza, near to the Carrara region in Italy. It is a very heterogeneous marble made up of hues going from white to dark violet, whilst passing through shades of pink, all combined together with a violet coloured cement.  

In his Dictionary of Business and Industry, Blanqui describes Violet Breche. “This marble that is frequently used on the most beautiful churches in Italy, and is found on several tables and columns in the galleries of the Louvre Museum, offers an elegant detail to monumental architecture. The quarries that produce it are several miles from Serravezza, and are found in the commune of Stazzema. When the fragments which make up Violet Breche are large, in other words, when the lilacs, pinks, and whites, are prominent, it can only be used for monumental architecture, but when the colours are less prominent and equally spread across the whole surface of the marble, it can be used to make fireplaces and luxurious furniture.”

 

Ormolu
 (from French 'or moulu', signifying ground or pounded gold) is an 18th-century English term for applying finely ground, high-carat gold in a mercury amalgam to an object of bronze.
The mercury is driven off in a kiln leaving behind a gold-coloured veneer known as 'gilt bronze'.

The manufacture of true ormolu employs a process known as mercury-gilding or fire-gilding, in which a solution of nitrate of mercury is applied to a piece of copperbrass, or bronze, followed by the application of an amalgam of gold and mercury. The item was then exposed to extreme heat until the mercury burned off and the gold remained, adhered to the metal object.

No true ormolu was produced in France after around 1830 because legislation had outlawed the use of mercury. Therefore, other techniques were used instead but nothing surpasses the original mercury-firing ormolu method for sheer beauty and richness of colour. Electroplating is the most common modern technique. Ormolu techniques are essentially the same as those used on silver, to produce silver-gilt (also known as vermeil).

Angelica Kauffman, RA (1741 - 1807)

was a Swiss-born Austrian Neoclassical painter who had a successful career in London and Rome. Though born as "Kauffmann", Kauffman is the preferred spelling of her name in English; it is the form she herself used most in signing her correspondence, documents and paintings.

While Kauffman produced many types of art, she identified herself primarily as a history painter, an unusual designation for a woman artist in the 18th century. History painting, was considered the most elite and lucrative category in academic painting during this time period. Under the direction of Sir Joshua Reynolds, the Royal Academy made a strong effort to promote history painting to a native audience who were more interested in commissioning and buying portraits and landscapes.

Despite the popularity that Kauffman enjoyed in British society and her success as an artist, she was disappointed by the relative apathy that the British had towards history painting. Ultimately she left Britain for the continent, where history painting was better established, held in higher esteem and patronized.

The works of Angelica Kauffman have retained their reputation. By 1911, rooms decorated with her work were still to be seen in various quarters. At Hampton Court was a portrait of the duchess of Brunswick; in the National Portrait Gallery, a self-portrait. There were other pictures by her at Paris, at Dresden, in the Hermitage at St Petersburg, in the Alte Pinakothek atMunich, in Kadriorg Palace, Tallinn (Estonia).

Satinwood

is a hard and durable wood with a satinlike sheen, much used in cabinetmaking, especially in marquetry. It comes from two tropical trees of the family Rutaceae (rue family). East Indian or Ceylon satinwood is the yellowish or dark-brown heartwood of Chloroxylon swietenia.

The lustrous, fine-grained, usually figured wood is used for furniture, cabinetwork, veneers, and backs of brushes. West Indian satinwood, sometimes called yellow wood, is considered superior. It is the golden yellow, lustrous, even-grained wood found in the Florida Keys and the West Indies.

It has long been valued for furniture. It is also used for musical instruments, veneers, and other purposes. Satinwood is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Sapindales, family Rutaceae.

Our reference: 08054

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