Hand-carved during the 1600’s in Tuscany, Italy, this unique commode features both regular grain and burl walnut wood. Burl is abnormal growth that arises from stress to a tree and it typically manifests as a ball on the trunk or branches. Although difficult to carve because of interlocking grains, burl wood is highly sought-after thanks to its deep color and unique patterns.
The top features cavetto molding along the front and the side edges, above a thin frieze festooned with Vitruvian waves. Just below this are three full-length drawers, all graced with four demi-lune recessions. Each of the stacked drawers has two metal pulls and a keyplate. Interestingly, the keyplates are highly detailed, with a couchant and regardant lion (lying down with the head looking back over the shoulder) surrounded by spiral fluting.
Another fascinating aspect of this piece is the feet. All four feet are bracket feet, but the front two are further adorned by splayed paw feet with a central mascaron medallion. The lively carvings are offset by the cavetto molding of the base, which mirrors the molding of the drawers.
Italian woodworkers of the 17th century had a minimalist approach to furniture décor, favoring function over fashion. However, the carver of our walnut and burl walnut commode preferred to display his mastery, adding distinctive ornamentation to this chest of drawers. This fabulous storage piece can be used in multiple rooms throughout the house.
CONDITION: Good antique condition with wear commensurate to age and use with minor stains and nicks to the top. Old fills and separations present. Visible losses, old word worm most noticeably to the feet. One key (included) for all three doors, but it does not activate the locks.