French Empire Mahogany Hercules Herms Commode , in the manner of Bernard Molitor, ca. 1810

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Object Description

A fine Empire acajou moucheté mahogany commode in the manner of Bernard Molitor (1755-1833). A rectangular oak corpus veneered with acajou moucheté mahogany, with a grey marble top above a projecting frieze drawer adorned with five-pointed stars, below three drawers with lion mask handles flanked by tapering straight pilasters with figural mounts of Hercules herms, on a slightly projecting plinth, raised on paw-feet at the front and blocks at the back. The finely chased and Hercules herms of high quality, the bearded head with curly hair, his physical strength almost visible in the chiselled face, the lion skin hold together by a lion head clasp.

Object History

Bernard Molitor, of German origin, moved to Paris before 1778 and was one of the last ébénistes to work for the monarchy in France. His business was extremely successful and he counted not only Marie-Antoinette as a client but also other members of the Queen’s circle. His furniture was characterised by the use of mahogany veneers embellished with finely cast mounts and his motifs were often inspired by contemporary events such as Napoleon’s heroic campaigns, here depicting Hercules as Napoleon’s image.

Object Literature

Ulrich Leben: Bernard Molitor. Leben und Werk eines Pariser Kunsttischlers, Bonn 1999, p. 74ff., p. 238f., no. 28/29a-d

Ulrich Leben: Bernard Molitor, London 1992, cat. no. 33A, 34, p. 183f.

Object Condition

Very good; weasr consistent with age and use – detailed condition report on request.

Object Details

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