This rich, French commode, or chest of drawers, is a late 19th century production from a high quality ebenisterie in Paris. The fire stamp (makers mark) on the rear left of the piece reads “BR A PARIS”. This firm was likely situated in the Faubourg Saint-Antoine: a Parisian street associated with fine cabinet makers, wood merchants, sculptors, and other artisans since the 18th century.
The design of the commode is based on the models produced at the very beginning of the 1700’s, toward the end of King Louis XIV’s reign. The facade is lightly curved outward, or galbee, and it sits on sturdy rounded block feet with delicate bronze ormolu mounts. Three large drawers are inlaid with finely cut rectilinear brass bands which frame the beautifully cast bronze handles. These are mounted to oval shaped areas of a contrasting ebonized wood, which match the rich black perimeter of the drawers, and the three fluted bands on the corners of the commode. Each side of the commode has a large lozenge of dark stained wood, framed by more brass inlays. The inside of the lozenge is inlaid with a slightly darker finish, adding visual interest. The piece has its original, conforming marble top.
This is a very fine late 19th century French commode based on the models of the late Louis XIV and early Regence periods. This design preceded the fashion of the curved and exuberant forms that was to come with the Louis XV era. The more rectangular, rigid, and architectural forms of these commodes were embellished by the use of beautiful bronze mounts, metallic inlays, marble tops, and beautiful exotic woods. The burl ash wood used on this particular commode has a depth, luminosity, grain pattern, and color that is simply stunning.
CONDITION: Very good condition with only light wear. Small horizontal black marks on back left foot. Brown wax residue to molding and back part of stone.