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A mercury gilt-bronze mounted kingwood, amaranth and satiné commode, Louis XV, circa 1745, stamped B.V.R.B.
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A mercury gilt-bronze mounted kingwood, amaranth and satiné commode, Louis XV, circa 1745, stamped B.V.R.B.
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Details & Cataloguing

La Collection Ribes I

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Paris

A mercury gilt-bronze mounted kingwood, amaranth and satiné commode, Louis XV, circa 1745, stamped B.V.R.B.
with a Sarrancolin marble top above two front drawers, the veneered marquetry with scrolled foliage, with a gilt-bronze foliate and acanthus leaf cartouche, on curved legs; (the marble top restored)
Haut. 85 cm, larg. 105 cm, prof. 53 cm ; height 33½in., width 41⅓in., depth 20¾in.
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Literature

- P. Verlet, La maison du XVIIIe siècle en France, Paris, 1966, p. 57 (ill.)

RELATED LITERATURE
- A. Pradère, Les ébénistes français de Louis XIV à la Révolution, Paris, 1989, pp. 182-199

Catalogue Note

This marquetry commode is remarkable for the quality of its execution. It is fundamental to the works by the cabinetmaker Bernard II Vanrisamburgh and shows a change in the composition of the marquetry design with the asymmetrical marquetry framed by the more symmetrical gilt bronze cartouche.

The marquetry design realises a freely formed pattern of kingwood with foliage and flowers against a satiné background arranged in radiant reserves bursting from openwork clasps, the whole within an amaranth frame. It is similar to the decor on the secrétaire en pente delivered by the marchand-mercier Joachim Hébert in 1745 for the Dauphine’s apartments in the Palace of Versailles (inv. V5268, see fig. 1). The asymmetrical pattern is characteristic of a looser Rocaille style. Bernard II Vanrisamburgh gradually abandoned the satiné background in favour of tulipwood as is evident on the commode auctioned at Sotheby's, New York, 6 November 6, 1982, lot 186, where his more toned down floral arrangements show a move towards a more pronounced symmetry, typical of the evolution of the Rocaille style in 1755-60.

The gilt bronze ornamentation belongs to the repertoire of B.V.R.B. We find the same cascades and gilt bronze sabot on the secrétaire en pente at Versailles, while the edging of the facade and sides is identical to those that decorate several pieces of lacquered furniture including the red lacquered commode auctioned in Paris, Palais Galliera, 2 March 1972, lot 109 and the famous Japanese-lacquered commode by B.V.R.B. delivered in 1737 to Queen Maria Leczinska at the Château de Fontainebleau (Sotheby's, Monaco, 17 June 1988, lot 752), now in the Louvre Museum (inv. OA 11193, see fig. 3).

La Collection Ribes I

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Paris