PROPERTY FROM AN IMPORTANT EUROPEAN PRIVATE FAMILY
The present commode is a splendid example of the taste for exoticism under the reign of Louis XV and the use of lacquer panels on furniture pieces. Carolyn Sargentson in her book Merchants and Luxury Markets: The Marchands Merciers of Eighteenth-Century, Paris, 1996, pp. 79-90, describes how the marchands-merciers enlarged their market by adapting imported Chinese lacquer to French furniture forms. They removed lacquer panels from cabinets, chests and screens and re-used them on a multitude of different pieces of furniture. In fact, André Jacob Roubo detailed, in 1772, the process whereby the panels could be removed and re-used on shaped carcasses. The double stamp of Delorme next to which of Felix would point to their collaboration between the two masters.
One of the most eye-catching features of this commode is how skillfully the gilt-bronze mounts were designed as to include the handles of the commode in the continuity of the rocaille and foliate scrolls. The same gilt-bronze mounts are found on Delorme's other commodes, one illustrated in P. Kjellberg, Le Mobilier Français du XVIIIe siècle, Paris, 2002, p.281, no.c; with a related mounted cartouche.
In addition, the front's framing gilt-bronze and apron mounts are similar to those found on a smaller commode stamped Delorme, from the collection of the Elizabeth Parke Firestone, Christie's New York, 23 March 1991, lot 899. The same design for the cartouche's framing mounts was used on a commode stamped Mathieu Criaerd [Kjellberg, P. Le Mobilier Français du XVIIIe siècle, Paris, 2002, p.253]. It is also worthwhile to mention that other prominent French ébénistes from the 18th century, such as Boudin, Dubois and Roussell used similar corner mounts, since they were probably assisted by Delorme, who was also a marchand.
Although Delorme probably produced several lacquer commodes, very few of these have been recorded. Apart from those already mentioned, one is held in the collections of the Museum of Applied Arts, Budapest. A three drawer lacquered commode stamped Delorme was sold Sotheby's London, 2 December 2008, lot 76 [£241,250] and another was sold Sotheby's London, 6 December 2006, lot 60.
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