late 18th / early 19th century
Luisa Bandera , Giovanni Maffezzoli Intarsiatore Cremonese, Antichita Viva, September-October 1964, no.78.
Alvar Gonzales-Palacios, Il Tempio del Gusto, La Toscana e L’Italia Settrionale, p. 276, plates XLVI and XLVII.
This commode with the geometric reserves on the front with griffins flanking a neo-classical vase and entwined acanthus is reminiscent of a design by Giocondo Albertolli in his book of engravings, plate XVI from the volume, Ornamenti Diversi representing, `Quarta parte dell'Ornato del Volto eseguito di Stucco nella Camera dui Udienza di S.A.R. La Serenissima Sig. ra Arciduchessa in Milano, ', Milan, 1782, (Milan Private Collection)-reproduced here in fig.1.
It is also worthwhile comparing commodes illustrated by A.G.P. op. cit., p. 276, plates XLVI and XLVII by Maffezzoli with architectural scenes and projecting columns as on the offered commode. Also see Bandera op. cit., p. 49, fig. 15, for a top with an entwined acanthus motif similar to the one in the reserves on the front of this commode and p.54, figs 222-24 for an elliptical motif similar to that on the front of this commode.
Giovanni Maffezzoli (1776-1818):
He was born in Cremona and was the most gifted pupil of Giuseppe Maggiolini (1738-1814), in whose workshop he started his apprenticeship which was located in Parabiago. He started his apprenticeship at the age of fifteen in 1791.
Giocondo Albertolli (1742-1839):
Albertolli was a leading Italian neo-classical ornamental designer and was most well known for his work on Palazzo Reale in Milan where he undertook the interior decoration. He was also responsible for the decoration of Palazzo Pitti in Florence and for his volumes of engraved designs which were very influential on Italian 18th century cabinet-makers such as Maggiolini and Maffezzoli and G.B.M. He trained in Parma where he came into contact with the French designer and architect E.-A. Petitot. In 1775, he became professor at the Milan Accademia di Bella Arti and directed the school of ornament there until 1812. Furthermore his ornamental designs were published in Ornamenti diversi in 1782; Alcune decorazioni di nobili sale in 1787 and Miscellanea per i giovani studiosi del disegno in 1796. He also published Corso elementare di ornamenti architettonici in Milan, in 1805.
Finally, it is worthwhile comparing a commode by the same maker inlaid with architectural scenes but with the same painted freestanding columns and decorative element of griffins flanking and urn, sold as lot 316, in these Rooms, 13th June 2001-reproduced here in fig. 2.
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