From circa 1770, this small French oak commode with marble top is in great condition. The marble top is quite thick at two inches, which means this chest of drawers can be used in the bedroom as a night table or in the bathroom with a small sink on top.
The canted marble top is light grey in color, with hints of white, black and red veining. It has been carved to mimic the shape of the oak wood beneath it.
Despite predating the period by a few years, the oak has been carved in the Louis XVI style. Gone are the asymmetrical, carefree curves and swirls that symbolized Louis XV period. This chest of drawers has symmetric and geometric shaped motifs, a hallmark of the neoclassical style of Louis XVI. The vertical carvings on the sides and the shoulder in particular resemble pilasters or columns. Each of the three drawers has similar patterns, albeit in a horizontal arrangement. The apron on the sides and front have arbalete, or bow-shaped, moldings.
On each of the drawers is a pair of gilded lion mascarons with wreath drop handles originating from the mouth. The wreath perfectly frames a gilded rosette beneath the lion. The pulls flank a rosette lock plate or escutcheon.
While this commode exhibits many characteristics of a Louis XVI production, the front legs are atypical of a Louis XVI piece of furniture. Notice how the short shaped legs curve twice: the upper portion is convex, while the bottom part is concave. This is referred to as a cabriolet style carving, which is indicative of Louis XV furniture. Each leg then terminates in a hoof foot. This is in stark contrast to the straight-legged block feet in the back.
Because it exhibits characteristics of both Louis XV and Louis XVI, this commode very well could have been one of the earliest pieces produced in the Louis XVI period. Sometimes pieces such as this are called “Transitional”. The chest of drawers has been kept very well and has an impressive marble top. Its practical size and style permits it be used in a variety of ways.
CONDITION: Very good antique condition with only small nicks to wood with slight age separations. Fleabites to marble top. Key only locks middle drawer.