Hand-carved in France in the 1700’s, this arbalete front commode has been bleached at some point, revealing a fascinating burl walnut pattern. The chest of drawers has a warm, light brown color disrupted by the darker tones of the burl, which is wood grain that was contorted from stress to the tree.
The three full-length drawers were assembled with dovetail construction, as was the practice in the 18th century. Each drawer is lined with a fabric (not original to the commode) that consists of a white background and a multi-colored flower print (pink, red, and yellow) with green leaves. Some of the nails that affix the fabric to the interior have been replaced, but the lining is still intact, although the side walls of the bottom drawer were left bare. Each drawer has a pair of bronze dore foliate pulls flanking an asymmetrical keyplate, often seen during Louis XV.
A quarter round molding surrounds the top, mirroring the shape of the drawer fronts. The top also has rounded shoulders that accentuate the subtle galbe curve to the rectangular side panels. All three aprons are shaped, continuing the arbalete theme. The four legs, while short and stout, have the graceful S-curves associated with period Louis XV pieces. As with most Louis XV furniture, ebenistes placed more importance on wood choice and lithe lines than they did carved motifs. This allows our arbalete commode to be paired with most design styles from Louis XV to contemporary.
CONDITION: Good antique condition with minor age separations and losses. Wear to interior lining. A key is included, but it does not activate the locks. Presence of old fills and repairs and light traces of old wood worm.