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A pair of Louis XIV gilt-bronze mounted Boulle tortoiseshell, brass, mother-of-pearl and tin marquetry commodes, attributed to Nicolas Sageot, circa 1700
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45
A pair of Louis XIV gilt-bronze mounted Boulle tortoiseshell, brass, mother-of-pearl and tin marquetry commodes, attributed to Nicolas Sageot, circa 1700
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Details & Cataloguing

Style : Mobilier, Objets d’art et Orfèvrerie

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Paris

A pair of Louis XIV gilt-bronze mounted Boulle tortoiseshell, brass, mother-of-pearl and tin marquetry commodes, attributed to Nicolas Sageot, circa 1700
opening with five drawers, decorated in the style of Bérain, the top with a figure of Apollo on his chariot; (regilt; some gilt-bronze ornaments of later date)
Quantity: 2
Haut. 80 cm, larg. 119 cm,  prof. 65,5 cm ; height 31 1/2  in, width 46 3/4  in, depth 26 in
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Literature

Related literature :

Peter Hughes, The Wallace Collection, Catalogue of Furniture, Vol. II, 1996, No.137 (F39), p. 639 and No.139 (F408), p.649
Seymour de Ricci, Louis XIV and Régence, Germany, 1929, p.122

Catalogue Note

This pair of commodes, remarkable by their quality and by the abundance of their marquetry decoration shows similarities with other commodes originating from the production of Nicolas Sageot (1666-1701). The latter has been recorded as being active as early as 1690  and was registered at the Grande rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine in 1698. He worked as an 'ouvrier libre' or a free craftsman before being admitted into the cabinet makers corporation. His production includes primarily armoires, commodes and bureaux all decorated with tortoiseshell and brass marquetry in the style of André-Charles Boulle (1642-1732) of whom he became the foremost competitor.

Sageot was also active as a merchant and some archives show that he sometimes subcontracted the work of the marquetry panels to well knowns artisans such as Toussaint Devoye (active from 1706 to 1748). This activity as merchant sometimes creates confusion as to the representativity of his production, as the NS, his cabinet makers' mark could be stamped on pieces of his creation as well as pieces which he sold (see P.Hugues, op.cit., p.639 and 649).

Our commode shows strong similarities with the two commodes in the Wallace Collection in London and which are recorded under the references F39 and F408. The rectilinear architecture and the pilasters of our commodes as well as of the F39 commode from the Wallace Collection are reminiscent of the bureaux created at the end of the 17th century and suggest a date of creation around 1700.

The marquetry decoration is clearly inspired from the works of Jean Bérain (1640-1711), one the most influential ornamental designers at the court of Louis XIV. Starting from 1670 he was at the service of the French Crown as engraver and was given the title in 1674 of Architecte Dessinateur de la Chambre et du Cabinet du Roi, his mission consisting in providing drawing projects for royal celebrations and festivities. In 1690 he was named chief decorator of the apartments of the Louvre in collaboration with André-Charles Boulle. His drawings for furniture, panellings and fireplaces were brought together in ornament compilations.

The top of commode F39 is identical to the one of our commode except for the central scene depicted on the F39 one the birth of Venus. The lateral decorations are also identical and can be found on several pieces stamped Nicolas Sageot among which a commode which was on the parisian market in 2012. The feet in the shape of stag hoofs can also be found on several  models such as on a commode attributed to Sageot originating from Chatsworth (Chatsworth, The Attic Sale, Sotheby's London, 5th October 2010, lot 60).

The commodes from the Wallace Collection and the one from the Chatsworth sale have the same marquetry as our pair of commodes but, whereas their marquetries consist of a simple decoration of red tinted tortoiseshell and brass, our pair stands out by an additional use of tin enriching their decoration and giving a fluidity to its visual appreciation. The engraved details are of a rare freshness and can only be seen on very few examples of marquetries which have reached us.

Style : Mobilier, Objets d’art et Orfèvrerie

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Paris