Antique Louis XVI Ormolu Mounted Walnut Commode 18th Century

GBP 6,500.00

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Object Description

This is an impressive and rare antique Louis XVI gilt-bronze mounted walnut and marquetry conmmode, dating from the late 18th Century.

The stunning breche violette marble top over a serpentine front having two short over two full width drawers, with a secret drawer between the two short drawers, this can be opened by releasing a catch underneath. The drawers fitted with the original scrolling ormolu handles.

The commode with kingwood crossbanding, burr walnut panels, superb decorative ormolu mounts and raised on short shaped legs.

This is an exceptional piece of craftsmanship, a truly gorgeous piece. This commode deserves pride of place in any furniture collection and will become the central focus point in your room.

Complete with original working locks and key.

In excellent condition having been beautifully cleaned, French polished and waxed in our workshops, please see photos for confirmation.

Dimensions in cm:
Height 90 x Width 132 x Depth 57

Dimensions in inches:
Height 2 foot, 11 inches x Width 4 foot, 4 inches x Depth 1 foot, 10 inches

Violet Breche marble
is extracted from the town of Serravezza, near to the Carrara region in Italy. It is a very heterogeneous marble made up of hues going from white to dark violet, whilst passing through shades of pink, all combined together with a violet coloured cement.

In his Dictionary of Business and Industry, Blanqui describes Violet Breche. “This marble that is frequently used on the most beautiful churches in Italy, and is found on several tables and columns in the galleries of the Louvre Museum, offers an elegant detail to monumental architecture. The quarries that produce it are several miles from Serravezza, and are found in the commune of Stazzema. When the fragments which make up Violet Breche are large, in other words, when the lilacs, pinks, and whites, are prominent, it can only be used for monumental architecture, but when the colours are less prominent and equally spread across the whole surface of the marble, it can be used to make fireplaces and luxurious furniture.”

Ormolu – (from French ‘or moulu’, signifying ground or pounded gold) is an 18th-century English term for applying finely ground, high-carat gold in a mercury amalgam to an object of bronze.The mercury is driven off in a kiln leaving behind a gold-coloured veneer known as ‘gilt bronze’.
The manufacture of true ormolu employs a process known as mercury-gilding or fire-gilding, in which a solution of nitrate of mercury is applied to a piece of copper, brass, or bronze, followed by the application of an amalgam of gold and mercury. The item was then exposed to extreme heat until the mercury burned off and the gold remained, adhered to the metal object.

After around 1830 because legislation had outlawed the use of mercury other techniques were used instead. Electroplating is the most common modern technique. Ormolu techniques are essentially the same as those used on silver, to produce silver-gilt.

During the time of Louis XVI, the ormolu mounts added a sculptural element to decorate furniture. Marquetry and gilt bronze mounts also emphasized the architectural lines of the piece in Louis XVI furniture. The guilds prohibited cabinetmakers from making their own mounts and had to be supplied by the guild of fondeurs-doreurs. Mounts were Neoclassical in design and consisted of of classical figures, Greek frets, pendants and swags of elaborately sculptured flowers and fruits, caryatid figures and sphinxes.

Our reference: A1607

Object Details

Dealer Opening Times

We are open weekly as follows:

9:00 - 17:00
9:00 - 17:00
9:00 - 17:00
9:00 - 17:00
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Dealer Contact

+44 (0)20 8809 9605

Dealer Location

Manor Warehouse
318 Green Lanes
N4 1BX

Please note that we are also open on alternate Saturdays. Please call to confirm.

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