Description & Technical information

A George III ormolu mounted satinwood and harewood marquetry commode attributed to Mayhew & Ince. 
This extraordinary commode and its companion, now in a private collection in Brazil, belong to a small group which all share the same semi-elliptical outline and Etruscan decoration and are all attributable to the workshop of Mayhew & Ince. 
There is little doubt that a pair of virtually identical commodes, only larger in size and with tops emblazoned with the arms of Robert Birch and his wife Catherine, are part of the same commission. 
Little is known about this suite of commodes, and only the coat of arms on the larger pair lead to Robert Birch, who was a city merchant and served as MP in the Irish Parliament. He had leased Turvey House in Co. Dublin, Ireland, from Lord Trimlestown, and alterations to the house during his tenancy there in 1773, which included installing a Venetian window, suggest that the suite may have been ordered around this time.
Turvey House was demolished in 1987.
Note: The commode retains all the original brass mounts and has replaced back feet. The original plain timber turned back feet have been retained with the commode for safe keeping. The interior behind the door at each side is fitted with a fixed shelf.

Date:  1775
Period:  1750-1850, 18th century
Origin:  England
Medium: Harewood, Satinwood, Ormolu
Dimensions: 82.5 x 109 x 57 cm (32¹/₂ x 42⁷/₈ x 22¹/₂ inches)
Provenance: Supplied to Robert Birch, Turvey House, Donabate, County Dublin, Ireland.
Private collection, England, since the 1950s and by descent.
Literature: David Nickerson, English Furniture of the Eighteenth Century, 1969, pp. 66-7.
Mark Bence-Jones, Burke’s Guide to Country Houses, Vol. 1 - Ireland, 1978, p. 278.
Christie, Manson & Woods Ltd, ‘Godmersham Park, Canterbury, Kent’, sale catalogue, 6-9 June 1983, pp. 132-3, lot 138.
Hugh Roberts, ‘The Derby House Commode’, Burlington magazine, May 1985, pp. 275-82, illus. 18.
F. Lewis Hinckley, Hepplewhite, Sheraton and Regency Furniture, 1987, p. 209, illus. 348.
Mallett & Son Ltd., catalogue, 2013, pp. 41-5.
Categories: Furniture