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Details & Cataloguing

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A pair of Spanish parcel-gilt, painted and mahogany commodes, Mallorcan, possibly by Adriá Ferran i Vallès, mid-19th century
each with a rectangular top above a frieze drawer enclosing a mirror and three lidded compartments, and three further long drawers with a raised demi-lune panel flanked by carved acanthus leaves with swans with a floral spray in their beaks on winged female sphinx feet and a concave-fronted platform base
each 106cm. high, 139cm. wide, 66cm. deep; 3ft. 5¾in. high, 4ft. 6½in. wide, 2ft. 2in. deep
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Literature

M.-J. Massot Ramis d'Ayreflor, El Moble a les Illes Balears Segles XIII-XIX, Barcelona, 1995, p. 190, 191 (ill.)

Catalogue Note

This pair of commodes is of a typical Mallorcan model traditionally associated with the the sculptor and cabinet-maker Adrià Ferran i Vallès (1774-1842), who developed an interesting insular variation of the Empire style. With its distinctive flamed veneers, S-shaped sides, gilt carved corners and unusual feet on a platform base, these commodes are fine examples of this Mallorcan production. The carved sphinx feet are very close to a drawing by the sculptor Sacanell, in the manner of Ferran, now in the Museu de Mallorca.

Born in Catalonia, Ferran moved to Palma in 1806 where worked as sculptor and cabinet-maker with an workshop that had at some point 22 workers, disseminating his knowledge through local makers. No signed pieces of furniture by him are known, although the quality of the present lot firmly links it to the master or one of his best pupils.

Other Mallorcan mahogany commodes with carved feet on a platform base are known (with winged lions, eagles or sphynxes as feet) – see a pair sold Sotheby’s, Peter Zervudachi Collection, London, 10th June 1998, lot 296 (sold for £45,000) and single commode of the same model as the present lot but with griffin-headed feet was sold with Sotheby’s, Amsterdam, 30th September 2008, lot 667.

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