Fine Late 19th Century Decorative Chinoiserie French Marble Topped Bombe Commode


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Object Description

A Fine and Decorative Late 19th Century French Bombe Commode with Painted or “Japanned” Decoration and Ormolu Mounts

French circa 1890-1900

This fine commode, is of Louis XV style, it is made in bombe form, meaning that both the front and sides are outspreading or curved. Making pieces in this style is technically demanding and would only be attempted by the most experienced cabinet workshops.
The piece also has a highly decorative shaped apron and top, with its protruding corners, which are both complex shapes for a cabinetmaker to contend with as well. The fact that this piece stands so well is testament to the abilities of both the designer and maker.

If the shape of the piece is in itself eye-catching and technically impressive, the decoration used is even more luxurious. The piece is mounted with ormolu corner mounts and sabots of excellent quality with fine gilding and chasing and the top is ornamented with the original marble. The marble used is thick slab of breche de Montmeyan, a French marble predominantly quarried in the 19th and early 20th centuries and particularly favoured for use on pieces of furniture. The top has a beautifully moulded edge which is yet another sign of quality.

Of course the most obvious form of decoration on the piece is the chinoiserie paintwork or japanning which is used to ornament the drawer fronts and the side panels on the commode. On the drawers is a scene featuring a man transporting three noble Chinese ladies in a punt with trees and exotic birds surrounding him and a waterfall in the foreground where another gentleman stands with his fishing pole primed. The sides of the piece depict Chinese figures in very obviously European landscapes-the architecture being recognisably Western whilst the figures are Eastern in their facial features and clothing. It is this combination of cultural influences that have made chinoiserie so appealing to countless generations of collectors, connoisseurs and decorators and this is a lovely example.

This wonderfully decorative commode is very well constructed and a real statement piece of furniture. Quite universal as can equally be used at home in a bedroom, drawing room or hallway. It will provide a talking point in any interior and is a particularly sophisticated example of a commode from this period.

Width: 44 1/2 inches – 113cm
Height: 30 1/2 inches – 90cm
Depth: 22 1/2 inches – 57cm

Object Details

  • dimensions
    W:44.5 x H:30.5 x D:22.5 inches
  • period
  • country
  • year

Dealer Opening Times

By appointment only.

Dealer Contact

+44 (0)1438 869 819

Dealer Location

Benington, Hertfordshire, UK

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