The J. Paul Getty Museum

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:

about 1760

Medium:

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

Object Number:

72.DA.54

Dimensions:

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

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Object Description

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
Provenance
-

Possibly Goupil de Douilla, French, (Paris, France), sold to Frank Partridge & Sons, Ltd.
Source: Invoice from French and Company, May 22, 1972, in the files of the Department of Sculpture and Decorative Arts, J. Paul Getty Museum.

-

Frank Partridge & Sons, Ltd., Founded 1902 (London, England), sold to Guedes de Souza.
Source: Correspondence from Gillian Wilson to John Partridge, January 5th, 1978, in the files of the Department of Sculpture and Decorative Arts, J. Paul Getty Museum.

-

Guedes de Souza, Portuguese, (Paris, France), sold to Étienne Lévy & Cie and Frank Partridge, & Sons, Ltd.
Source: Correspondence from Gillian Wilson to John Partridge, January 5th, 1978, in the files of the Department of Sculpture and Decorative Arts, J. Paul Getty Museum.

- 1972

Étienne Lévy & Cie (Paris, France) and Frank Partridge & Sons, Ltd., Founded 1902 (London, England), sold through French and Company to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1972.

Exhibitions
Exhibitions
The J. Paul Getty Collection of French Decorative Arts (October 3, 1972 to August 31, 1973)
  • The Detroit Institute of Arts (Detroit), October 3, 1972 to August 31, 1973
Bibliography
Bibliography

Frel, Jiri, Burton B. Fredericksen, and Gillian Wilson. The J. Paul Getty Museum Guidebook. 3rd ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1975), p. 84.

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), pp. 142, 164, ill.

Frel, Jiri, Burton Fredericksen, and Gillian Wilson. The J. Paul Getty Museum Guidebook. Rev. ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1976), pp. 88-89.

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

Fredericksen, Burton B., Jiří Frel, and Gillian Wilson. Guidebook: The J. Paul Getty Museum. 4th ed. Sandra Morgan, ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1978), p. 114.

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

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), p. 116.

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), p. 28, no. 31.

Ramond, Pierre. Chefs-d'oeuvre des marqueteurs. Vol. 2, De la Régence à nos jours (Dourdan: Éditions H. Vial, 1996), p. 110, ill.

Morley, John. Furniture: The Western Tradition: History, Style, Design (London: Thames & Hudson, 1999), pp. 182-183, fig. 340.

Morley, John. The History of Furniture: Twenty-Five Centuries of Style and Design in the Western Tradition (Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1999), pp. 182-183, fig. 340.

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

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

Stratmann-Döhler, Rosemarie. Jean-François Oeben, 1721-1763 (Paris: Éditions de l’Amateur and Perrin & Fils, 2002), p. 54, 172, ill.