Description & Technical information

Fitted with gilt bronze of exceptional sculptural quality: women's heads, men's masks, keyhole escutcheons, handles, apron, powerful lion claw sabots.
Rance marble top.

This commode is attributed to André Charles BOULLE, after a design by Jean BERAIN. André Charles BOULLE made a few pieces veneered with amaranth, before being well known for his famous marquetery. The form and the curve of the two upper drawers as well as the ormolu are very close to the famous pair of commodes made for the King s Bedchamber at Grand Trianon in Versailles, the only pieces which are proved to be made by André Charles BOULLE : in the Royal Buildings Books of Accounts, there is an entry covering a payment made to André Charles BOULLE in 1708 and 1709 regarding those two commodes.

It is quite certain that this commode is one of the first which has been made. Its construction is very interesting because it shows in its inner side a chest : its ancestor, and we think this commode to be earlier than the pair made for Trianon Palace still more elaborated and with only two drawers.

André Charles BOULLE obtained in 1672 the title of "First Cabinetmaker to the King" by means of a royal warrant that gives evidence of the extent of his talents since it described him as simultaneously "an architect, a sculptor of mosaïc, an engraver, a chiseller, an inlay worker, and an inventor of ciphers". In his capacity of privilege worker to the Crown A.C. BOULLE avoided the guild system, and thus was able to mould, cast and chisel his bronzes himself. That is probably the reason why the three keyhole escutcheons adorning this commode are different.

André Charles BOULLE has been allowed to dwell in the Louvre in the part previously occupied by the Cabinetmaker Jean Macé. His workshop in the Galleries of the Louvre grew larger and larger proving his success.

Date:  First quarter 18th century
Period:  1600-1750, 18th century
Origin:  France
Medium: marble top, Gilt bronze
Dimensions: 85.09 x 124.97 x 60.96 cm (33¹/₂ x 49¹/₅ x 24 inches)
Categories: Furniture