A Louis XIV Revival Boulle Marquetry and Ormolu Mounted Commode
Decorated to the top and front in premier-partie boulle marquetry of red tortoiseshell and brass with scrolling foliage, arabesques, birds, insects and musicians. The arborello shaped front with 3 long graduated drawers which are centred by espagnolette masks. The sides veneered in contre-partie boulle work. Standing on fine ormolu feet.
Andre-Charles Boulle (1642-1732) perfected the technique of boulle work, veneering a plain carcase in intricate brass and tortoiseshell marquetry under the patronage of Louis XIV. Boulle's lavish creations were intended not only to reflect the magnificence of the French court but to promote the moral ascendancy of Louis XIV's rule over the rest of Europe, complimenting his political dominance.
This commode was commissioned to meet the revival of interest in Boulle work amongst the upper echelons o fthe English aristocracy during the late 19th Century.The Marquess of Hertford and the Duke of Marlborough during this period were competing for the finest items of and this commode was intended to meet this demand. The commode's top with its dazzling interplay of musicians, insects and birds is a great example of the master ebeniste's work. The commode's overall proportions and the sumptuousness of its finish are exactly what these exacting patrons sought for their collections.