1600 - 1820
Rosewood, marble, gilt and lapis, slightly breakfront commode with three frieze drawers above a cupboard flanked by two other cupboards, with canted panelled sides, the front and sides with six upright pilasters inlaid with fillets on giltwood legs carved with Egyptian leaf, scroll and paw design, the panelled front and sides inlaid with panels of pietradura, lapis lazuli and semi-precious stones with birds and foliage, and blue-john panels and bosses, mounted with cast and chased giltmetal mouldings, borders and escutcheons petal, linear and rococo design, the top inlaid with a mosaic design of specimen marbles within a wide black marble border.
890 x 1790 x 650 mmOrder this image
Hinton Ampner, Hampshire (Accredited Museum)
Commode, rosewood with ebonised veneers, decorated with marble, lapis and fluorspar, and gilt-bronze mounts. The marble top made in Rome, about 1775-1825; inlaid panels made in Florence, 1600-1700; whole commode put together, possibly in England, around 1815-20.
This art object is made up of different pieces of furniture or decorative elements, as was common practice in the early-19th century when hardstone decorated pieces were very collectable but original pieces were increasingly rare. The Roman top is altered to fit here, from a rectangular table-top, designed to showcase different specimens of decorative hardstones – the most expensive and desirable element. A cargo captured by the French in January 1779 contained Grand Tour souvenirs destined for English patrons including ‘specimens of stones, fossils and lavas from Vesuvius’ and Roman table-tops of this type. The decoration on the front of the commode includes inlaid ‘Blue John’ and marble with pietre dure panels made in the Grand Ducal workshop, Florence, possibly after designs by the Italian painter Jacopo Ligozzi (1547-1626).
Bought in part-exchange from a ‘Cook’ of St Cristopher Place, London, for £750 (plus £400 goods) in March 1959.
Makers and roles
Unknown , maker