Commode

Object Details

Title:

Commode

Artist/Maker:

Jean-François Oeben (French, born Germany, 1721 - 1763, master 1761)

Culture:

French

Place:

Paris, France (Place created)

Date:

1760

Medium:

Oak veneered with maple, tulipwood, amaranth, and Ceylon satinwood; gilt-bronze mounts; campan mélangé vert marble top

Dimensions:

92 × 140.6 × 47 cm (36 1/4 × 55 3/8 × 18 1/2 in.)

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Although the ébéniste Jean-François Oeben produced a number of similar commodes, this one's unusually short legs and shallow depth indicate that he probably made it for a specific location. The gilt-bronze mounts with motifs drawn from ancient Greece made it a commode à la grecque (in the Grecian style). Collectors at the forefront of fashion, such as Madame de Pompadour, Louis XV's mistress, admired the parquetry and the laurel leaves and guilloche motifs drawn from classical antiquity.

As he did in other works, Oeben fitted this commode with an ingenious locking mechanism, using one lock to control the whole commode. The side drawers in the frieze cannot be opened unless the center drawer has been pulled out slightly. A metal rod at the back of the drawer is then released, allowing the sides to be opened smoothly. Each of these drawers opens with circular pulls, cleverly corresponding to the guilloches in the gilt-bronze frieze.

Provenance
-

Private Collection (Paris, France), possibly Goupil de Douilla.

-

Frank Partridge & Sons, Ltd. (London, England)

-

Guedes de Souza (Paris, France)

- 1972

Etienne Lévy & Cie (Paris, France)

- 1972

and Frank Partridge & Sons, Ltd. (London, England), sold through French and Company to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1972.

Bibliography

Fredericksen, Burton B., ed. The J. Paul Getty Museum: Greek and Roman Antiquities, Western European Paintings, French Decorative Arts of the Eighteenth Century (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1975), p. 164, illus.

Wilson, Gillian. Decorative Arts in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1977), no. 83, p. 63, illus.

Sassoon, Adrian, and Gillian Wilson. Decorative Arts: A Handbook of the Collection of the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1986), no. 31, p. 14, illus.

Pradère, Alexandre. Les ébénistes français de Louis XIV à la Révolution (Paris: Chêne, 1989), p. 261, fig. 278.

Pradère, Alexandre. French Furniture Makers: The Art of the Ébéniste from Louis XIV to the Revolution (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1989), p. 261, fig. 278.

Kjellberg, Pierre. Le Mobilier français du XVIIIe siècle: Dictionnaire des ébénistes et des menuisiers (Paris: Éditions de l'Amateur, 1989), pp. 614, 619.

Pradère, Alexandre. “Quand le Getty vise juste.” Connaisance des Arts 449/450 (July/August 1989), pp. 111-119.

Bremer-David, Charissa, et al. Decorative Arts: An Illustrated Summary Catalogue of the Collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1993), no. 31, p. 28, illus.

Ramond, Pierre. Chefs-d'oeuvre des marqueteurs. Vol. 2, De la Régence à nos jours (Dourdan: Éditions H. Vial, 1994), p. 110, illus.

Ramond, Pierre. Masterpieces of Marquetry. Vol. 2, From the Régence to the Present Day (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2000), p. 110, illus.

Wilson, Gillian, and Catherine Hess. Summary Catalogue of European Decorative Arts in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2001), no. 31, p. 17, illus.