Cloud Zoom small image
My Cart

Antique French Louis XV Walnut Commode Chest of Drawers France circa 1790

The graceful lines of this antique French Louis XV style walnut chest of drawers from France circa 1790 remain a pleasure to behold and speaks of the exceptional cabinet making employed in eighteenth century France. The luscious light and dark caramel color of the walnut is offset with the deeply carved decoration as well as the gilt bronze handles and escutcheons (lock covers) seen on the drawers. The serpentine front of this antique Louis XV commode (taken from the French word "commodité" meaning accommodating or comfortable) is first seen in the top which extends slightly beyond the body of the chest and then also along the entire front façade where each of the drawer fronts also follow the same gentle curve of the serpentine profile. This French commode is also interesting because is has a "secret" drawer. Notice that the top, middle and lower drawer all appear to be the same. But the top drawer is actually a left and right drawer with their inner edges overlapping the centre drawer. This centre "secret" drawer is only able to be accessed once the left and right drawers are opened. This was the most secure place to keep valuables because at the time only the cabinet maker and the client who commissioned the piece was aware of this secret drawer. The use of this type of arrangement was not widely known and was therefore effectively "secret". The bold curve of the deeply grooved carving is perfectly complemented by the bronze hardware with a naturalistic design that extends from side to side with a ribbon crossed centre and each end sprouting a bouquet. The escutcheons (lock palte covers) in the centre of each drawer are circular in shape with lovely fluttering ribbons. These lock plate covers were always used to guide the steel or iron key through the timber to the inside lock while protecting the wood, a softer material. In addition, the gleam of the bronze reflected any available fire or candle light making the handles and escutcheons easy to see. Please be sure to enlarge the photographs to see the details both in the carving as well as the bronze work on this chest as it is quite fun to see the slight variations that result when every element has been done by hand. The front feet end in the swirled design known as a "coquille" the French word for a snail shell that spirals around itself. The apron that joins the left and right leg has a dramatic curved profile with a large carved motif set directly in the centre. The neoclassical urn has angular handles and is set within a pair of inturning scrolls that focus attention on the urn. In addition there are brnches with long leaves that flank the urn both inside and outside the scrolls but rendered in a formal manner similar to the bouquets seen at the end of each handle. This mixture of Louis XV and Louis XVI elements was quite common toward the end of the eighteenth century especially out in the country away from Paris. Of course this commode was always chosen to be a focal point in an eighteenth century interior where its superb beauty could be admired by both the owner and guests as it was an example of knowledge of wealth. The antique French Louis XV style commode or as it is known now, chest of drawers, remains eminently beautiful as well as fully functional for a modern life.

# CBA44

DIMENSIONS

49.50" w x 24.00" d x 37.00" h

125.73cm w x 60.96cm d x 93.98cm h

Sale Price $8,283.80 Regular Price $11,834.00

The graceful lines of this antique French Louis XV style walnut chest of drawers circa 1790 remain a pleasure to behold and speak of the exceptional cabinet making employed in eighteenth century France. The luscious light and dark caramel color of the walnut is offset with the deeply carved decoration as well as the gilt bronze handles and escutcheons (lock covers) seen on the drawers. The serpentine front of this antique Louis XV commode (taken from the French word "commodité" meaning accommodating or comfortable) is first seen in the top which extends slightly beyond the body of the chest and then also along the entire front façade where each of the drawer fronts also follow the same gentle curve of the serpentine profile. This French commode is also interesting because is has a "secret" drawer. Notice that the top, middle and lower drawer all appear to be the same. But the top drawer is actually a left and right drawer with their inner edges overlapping the centre drawer. This centre "secret" drawer is only able to be accessed once the left and right drawers are opened. This was the most secure place to keep valuables because at the time only the cabinet maker and the client who commissioned the piece was aware of this secret drawer. The use of this type of arrangement was not widely known and was therefore effectively "secret". The bold curve of the deeply grooved carving is perfectly complemented by the bronze hardware with a naturalistic design that extends from side to side with a ribbon crossed centre and each end sprouting a bouquet. The escutcheons (lock palte covers) in the centre of each drawer are circular in shape with lovely fluttering ribbons. These lock plate covers were always used to guide the steel or iron key through the timber to the inside lock while protecting the wood, a softer material. In addition, the gleam of the bronze reflected any available fire or candle light making the handles and escutcheons easy to see. Please be sure to enlarge the photographs to see the details both in the carving as well as the bronze work on this chest as it is quite fun to see the slight variations that result when every element has been done by hand. The front feet end in the swirled design known as a "coquille" the French word for a snail shell that spirals around itself. The apron that joins the left and right leg has a dramatic curved profile with a large carved motif set directly in the centre. The neoclassical urn has angular handles and is set within a pair of inturning scrolls that focus attention on the urn. In addition there are brnches with long leaves that flank the urn both inside and outside the scrolls but rendered in a formal manner similar to the bouquets seen at the end of each handle. This mixture of Louis XV and Louis XVI elements was quite common toward the end of the eighteenth century especially out in the country away from Paris. Of course this commode was always chosen to be a focal point in an eighteenth century interior where its superb beauty could be admired by both the owner and guests as it was an example of knowledge of wealth. The antique French Louis XV style commode or as it is known now, chest of drawers, remains eminently beautiful as well as fully functional for a modern life.