The J. Paul Getty Museum

Commode

Object Details

Title:

Commode

Artist/Maker:

Unknown maker, French

Culture:

French

Place:

Paris, France (Place Created)

Date:

about 1850–1900

Medium:

White and red oak, poplar and fir veneered with tulipwood and kingwood; gilt-bronze mounts; iron lock hardware; Rance limestone top

Object Number:

70.DA.79

Dimensions:

90.1 × 144.8 × 66.6 cm (35 1/2 × 57 × 26 1/4 in.)

Credit Line:

Gift of J. Paul Getty

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Object Description

Evidence from technical analysis suggests that this commode was made in the second half of the 1800s using old wood and new bronze mounts. Some of the wood came from a genuine 1700s piece stamped “DELORME,” for Adrien Faizelot Delorme (died after 1783, master 1748), and “N. PETIT,” for Nicolas Petit (1732–1791, master 1761). Whoever produced this commode knew the significance of these stamps and included the old section of wood that carried the names. Therefore, the commode is an intentional fake, meant to deceive people into thinking it was made in the mid 1700s.

The bronze mounts are close copies of those found on commodes of this model made in the mid 1700s by Joseph Baumhauer, one of which is also in the Getty collection. A few substantial differences exist, though, indicating that they were not cast directly from any of the Baumhauer mounts; rather, the later bronze caster may have referenced a drawing or photograph of original mounts when making these copies.

Provenance
Provenance
-

possibly Cécile Sorel, Comtesse de Ségur, French, 1873 - 1966 (Paris, France), sold to Jacques Seligmann et Fils.
Source: Documents from Jacques Seligmann et Fils in the files of the Sculpture and Decorative Arts department, J. Paul Getty Museum.

-1933

Jacques Seligmann et Fils (Paris, France), sold to Julia Atterbury Thorne, 1933.
Source: Documents from Jacques Seligmann et Fils in the files of the Sculpture and Decorative Arts department, J. Paul Getty Museum.

1933 -

Julia Atterbury Thorne, American, 1891 - 1974 (New York, New York)
Source: Documents from Jacques Seligmann et Fils in the files of the Sculpture and Decorative Arts department, J. Paul Getty Museum.

- 1938

J. M. Botibol, in business 1920 - 1953 (London, England), sold to J. Paul Getty, 1938.
Source: J. Paul Getty Papers, 1909-1989: Art collecting and collections, 1934-1974, 1977, 1982, undated: J. M. Botibol 1939-1940, in the files of the Sculpture and Decorative Arts department, J. Paul Getty Museum.

1938 - 1970

J. Paul Getty, American, 1892 - 1976, donated to the J. Paul Getty Museum, 1970.

Exhibitions
Exhibitions
Getty Museum loan to the Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute (May 20, 1998 to February 27, 2009)
  • The Sterling and Francine Clark Art Institute (Williamstown), May 20, 1998 to February 27, 2009
Bibliography
Bibliography

Getty, J. Paul. Europe in the Eighteenth Century (Chicago: Lakeside Press, 1949), ill. between pp. 66-67.

Valentiner, William R., and Paul Wescher. The J. Paul Getty Museum Guidebook (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1954), p. 13, no. 19, ill.

Wescher, Paul. "French Furniture of the Eighteenth Century in the J. Paul Getty Museum." The Art Quarterly 18, no. 2 (Summer 1955), pp. 118, 124, fig. 8.

Getty, J. Paul, and Ethel Le Vane. Collector's Choice: The Chronicle of an Artistic Odyssey through Europe (London: W. H. Allen, 1955), ill. facing p. 209.

Valentiner, William R., and Paul Wescher. The J. Paul Getty Museum Guidebook. 2nd ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1956), p. 27, no. 18.

Boutemy, André. “L'ébéniste Joseph Baumhauer.” Connaissance des Arts 157 (March 1965), p. 84, fig. 3.

Jones, Anne Marian. A Handbook of the Decorative Arts in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1965), pp. 9, 21, no. D-36.

Frel, Jiri, Burton B. Fredericksen, and Gillian Wilson. The J. Paul Getty Museum Guidebook. 3rd ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1975), pp. 68, 70-71, ill.

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. 145, ill.

Frel, Jiri, Burton Fredericksen, and Gillian Wilson. The J. Paul Getty Museum Guidebook. Rev. ed. (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1976), pp. 72, 74-75, ill.

Wilson, Gillian. Decorative Arts in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1977), pp. 27, 54, no. 70.

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), pp. 94, 96-97, ill., back cover ill.

Fredericksen, Burton B., Jiří Frel, and Gillian Wilson. The J. Paul Getty Museum Guidebook. 5th ed. (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1980), pp. 86, 88-90, ill.

Sassoon, Adrian, and Gillian Wilson. Decorative Arts: A Handbook of the Collections of the J. Paul Getty Museum (Malibu: J. Paul Getty Museum, 1986), pp. 13-14, no. 30.

Augarde, Jean-Dominique. "1749 Joseph Baumhauer: ébéniste privilégié du roi." L'Estampille 204 (June 1987), p. 32.

Kjellberg, Pierre. Le Mobilier français du XVIIIe siècle: Dictionnaire des ébénistes et des menuisiers (Paris: Éditions de l'Amateur, 1989), p. 246.

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. 30.

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. 30.

Genestie, Peggy. “Les Faizelot Delorme ébénistes de père en fils.” L’Estampille/L’Objet d’Art 409 (January 2006), p. 56, ill.

Heginbotham, Arlen. "Bronzes dorés: A technical approach to examination and authentication of French gilt bronze." In French Bronze Sculpture: Materials and Techniques 16th -18th Century (London: Archetype, 2014), p. 152, fig. 2.

Wilson, Gillian, and Arlen Heginbotham. French Rococo Ébénisterie in the J. Paul Getty Museum (Los Angeles: J. Paul Getty Museum, 2021), introduction, no. 21, ill., entry by Gillian Wilson.