The Consulat style is a subset of the Directoire period, coinciding with the initial consolidation of power by Napoleon Bonaparte (roughly 1799-1804). Both historically and culturally, it is a transitional time in French history, bridging the ancien regime monarchy of Louis XVI to the Empire of Napoleon. Our burl elmwood commode was hand-carved in the Consulat style, circa 1880.
Neoclassical motifs, which were the standard during the Empire period, began to re-emerge during the Consulat. Notice the side pilasters, which are adorned with metal flowering torcheres tied with a bow and flanked by foliate rinceaux, reminiscent of motifs seen in ancient civilizations, such as Rome and Greece. In between the mounts are four full-length drawers separated by striated molding. Each drawer has two large protruding roundel pulls embellished with a Neoclassical bust of a helmeted warrior, flanking a pinecone and scrolled keyplate with gadrooned lobes.
The elm (with possibly some cherry wood sections) was stripped at some point, bringing about the natural tan color of the sapwood and allowing the burl patterns to gain prominence. This is especially true of the sides, which are comprised of two inlaid concentric rectangles that have a dappled brown tone. The overall shape is highly rectilinear, but is softened by a thick, protruding plinth with cavetto molding and a slightly overhanging top edge. Our elegant Consulat style commode can be used wherever case storage is needed, such as a bedroom, landing, or living room.
CONDITION: Very good condition, with minor age separations and light traces of old woodworm. The wood has been stripped more recently, with some professional restoration to the top. No key.