Property of a Lady
A LOUIS XV GILT-BRONZE MOUNTED BLACK LACQUER COMMODE MID-18TH CENTURY
with a fior di pesco marble top, decoration restored, mounts re-gilt
85.5cm. high, 113cm. wide, 57cm. deep; 2ft. 9¾in., 3ft. 8½in., 1ft. 10½in.
In overall good conserved condition and ready to place. Lacquer decoration restored and refreshed, gilt-bronze mounts re-gilt, as stated in printed catalogue. Minor chips and losses to decoration consistent with age and use. A smart and highly decorative item.
"In response to your inquiry, we are pleased to provide you with a general report of the condition of the property described above. Since we are not professional conservators or restorers, we urge you to consult with a restorer or conservator of your choice who will be better able to provide a detailed, professional report. Prospective buyers should inspect each lot to satisfy themselves as to condition and must understand that any statement made by Sotheby's is merely a subjective, qualified opinion. Prospective buyers should also refer to any Important Notices regarding this sale, which are printed in the Sale Catalogue.
NOTWITHSTANDING THIS REPORT OR ANY DISCUSSIONS CONCERNING A LOT, ALL LOTS ARE OFFERED AND SOLD AS IS" IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE CONDITIONS OF BUSINESS PRINTED IN THE SALE CATALOGUE."
Christie's New York, 20 October 2006, lot 417
This elegant commode typifies the fascination for the Orient from the first half of the 18th century when ébénistes began to incorporate exotic materials such as lacquer into pieces of furniture. Furniture pieces incorporating Chinese and Japanese lacquer were quite rare and collectors spent vast sums acquiring them. Typically, the marchand-merciers were in charge of importing the Chinese and Japanese furniture pieces which lacquer panels were then be cut off by the ébénistes. Once transformed into luxury pieces, the furniture pieces were sold to an elite clientele desperate to acquire the latest fashion, initiated in this case by the marchand-mercier Thomas-Joachim Hébert who had supplied in 1737 a B.V.R.B commode incorporating Japanese lacquer panels to Queen Maria Leszczyinska. The craze for Japanese lacquer continued well into the reign of Louis XVI and some the most important ébénistes including Levasseur, Carlin, Riesener and Weisweiler executed pieces using this extraordinary material. In relation to the present lot, a similar commode stamped Christophe Wolff, reçu maître in 1755, was sold Sotheby's London, 10-12 March 1999, lot 690.