This grande French commode with beautiful veneered panels and numerous bronze ormolu mounts dates to the beginning of the 20th century. The commode is in the Louis XV style which first emerged in France in the mid 1700s. It has splayed block feet on bracket legs and impressive bronze ormolu mounts throughout.
Commodes were first seen during the Louix XIV period, designed to replace the coffre, or large chest. At first, these chests of drawers were heavy and box-like, but during the reign of Louis XV, they became more graceful, with smoother lines and exquisite marquetry/parquetry designs. Notice how our commode has shaped sides and a rounded front (bombe) with lovely geometric parquetry veneer panels. The wood used is considered exotic, as it was imported from countries outside of France and used on only the finest pieces. These woods such as Kingwood or Rosewood were admired for their unusual color and pretty graining.
The drawers are arranged in a three-tiered orientation, with four drawers total. On the top row, two half drawers are separated by a square façade of concentric squares with slightly concaved sides. The two rows beneath contain full drawers, as was often seen on period Louis XV pieces. All drawers have bronze pulls with gadrooned leaves, scrolls and acanthus motifs. The three center parquetry panels have keyplates comprised of open scrolls, pebbles, and gadrooned leaves.
Beneath the bottom drawer is a shaped apron with an impressive bronze mount. The central element is a wide, stylized scalloped shell. Both sides of the bronze ornament have flowing gadrooned leaves embellished with scrolls and acanthus leaves that emanate from beneath the shell. Similar bronze pieces can be seen on the corners of the commode, stretching from just beneath the marble, down to the feet.
The chest of drawers has its original marble top. The form matches that of the commode, and it has a large, multi-tiered molding. The coloration consists of a rich palette of grays, browns, black, white, and rust.
French commodes such as this can be considered “formal” and were often found in Parisian residences. This chest has a particularly prominent bombe shape, both along the front and along the sides. It has remained in very good condition over the years.
CONDITION: Good overall condition with wear commensurate to age and use with scratches to marble. Rubs and minor lifting to veneer in spots.