- about 1951
René Weiller (Paris, France)
Rosenberg & Stiebel, Inc. (New York, New York), sold to J. Paul Getty, 1953.
1953 - 1965
J. Paul Getty, American, 1892 - 1976, donated to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1965.
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Currently on view at: Getty Center, Museum South Pavilion, Gallery S106
Bernard II van Risenburgh (French, after 1696 - about 1766, master before 1730)
Paris, France (Place Created)
White oak, veneered with alder, set with panels of Japanese lacquer on a coniferous substrate, and painted with European lacquer; veneered with cherry and amaranth on interior of the doors; replacement gilt-bronze mounts; brass and iron hardware and lock; Sarrancolin marble top; original silk fabric lining, and silver thread galon trim
88.3 × 151.9 × 57.8 cm (34 3/4 × 59 13/16 × 22 3/4 in.)
Gift of J. Paul Getty
Lacquer from China and Japan had been imported into France since the 1600s because its decorative patterns and distinctive character immediately appealed to wealthy consumers. In the 1700s increasing quantities of cabinets, screens, trays, and other shapes reached Europe and were adapted for use in fashionable interiors. By the 1730s panels of Asian lacquer would be cut out of their original settings and applied to European furniture as a type of decorative veneer. On this commode, the front and sides are each set with a central panel of raised black Japanese lacquer. The remaining surfaces of the commode are painted with black European lacquer.
The order for this commode was almost certainly made by the luxury goods dealer (marchand mercier) Thomas Joachim Hébert, for whom Bernard II van Risenburgh worked until 1750. Hébert would have supplied the lacquer to the cabinetmaker. In 1737 he is recorded as having delivered another commode by van Risenburgh, also decorated with black Japanese lacquer, to Louis XV’s wife, queen Maria Leszczynska. That delivery date helps scholars to date this similarly decorated commode.
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