Lot 57
  • 57


60,000 - 100,000 EUR
bidding is closed


  • Haut. 86 cm, larg. 96 cm, prof. 50 cm ; height 33 3/4 in, width 37 3/4 in., depth 19 2/3 in.
the grey marble top above the curved front opening with two drawers, the handles issued from the framings ; stamped I. DUBOIS and JME under the marble top ; (regilt)


Related literature
A. Pradère, Les ébénistes français de Louis XIV à la Révolution, Paris, 1989, pp. 168-175
T. Wolvesperges, Le meuble français en laque au XVIIIe siècle, Paris, 2000

Catalogue Note

These two coordinated Parisian enameled commodes have the exceptional feature of comprising a greatly homogenous ensemble without declaring it as a pair. The widths differ, one is relatively small (width 96 cm [3- 1/10 ft.]) while the other is larger (width 125 cm [4-1/10 ft.] ). Sets consisting of a single or pairs of commodes and a secretary desk, or a commode and a pair of corner cupboards (such as those from the former Hottinguer collection displayed at the Museée des arts décoratifs in Paris during the Vernis Martin lacquer exhibition, n° 34 and 35) are quite rare, but exist. We are here in the presence of two commodes of assorted sizes, made in the same workshop, with a decoration of gilt and polychrome flowers and foliage against a black background of Chinese lacquer imitation. The gilt bronze ornamentation is slightly different from one to the other. Nevertheless, there is the common facet to surround the decoration on the facade and side panels without encroaching on the composition. This effect is reinforced by no crossbar between the drawers and especially by the unique placement of pull handles in the corners. The marbles have the same veining. Despite the odds, It is most certainly a commission that stayed together. It is interesting to mention another Dubois lacquered commode with an intermediate width (114 cm [3-⅘ ft.]) which had a rather similar bronze decoration framing a landscape enlivened with figures (auction Ader Picard Tajan, Palace Galliera, 11 March 1975, illustrated opposite). Jacques Dubois (1694-1763) settled in Paris around 1720-1725 most likely due to his half-brother for whom he certainly worked for, the important cabinetmaker and decorative arts dealer Noël Gérard. Received master status rather late in 1742, legal representative for his guild in 1752, then expert in estate appraisals, Dubois was a renowned cabinetmaker whose most beautiful productions are certainly those integrating Chinese and Japanese lacquers, as well as Parisian varnish. This use became one of his specialties. Among the masterpieces by the cabinetmaker is the desk realized around 1750 for the Duke of Orleans at the Château du Raincy, now at the Louvre in Paris (inv. OA 6083), which employs Japanese lacquer, but also the Parisian finishing called «Vernis Martin». This varnish technique was perfected in Paris, mainly by the Martin family, in order to imitate Asian lacquers. Defined as extraordinarily luxurious furniture, these lacquered and varnished wares were most likely orders from decorative art dealers for wealthy clientele that included several personalities like the Count Branicki (corner cupboard circa 1745, J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, inv. 79.DA.66).