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A CHEST OF DRAWERS BY RIESENER


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Wonderful mahogany COMMODE

with a light central projection.  Inlaid in mahogany.  It presents two drawers with no sleeper in between, surmounted by a row of three little drawers.  Lightly rounded front and rear supports.  It rests on four fluted and tapered feet.  Decorated with rich chiseled and gilded bronzes.  Framings and rods mouldered with gadroons and water leaves. The grips are decorated with rings and laurel crown tablets.  The keyholes are ornamented with double eagleheads, acanthus leaves and clusters. Falls decorated with garlands. Clogs and rings worked with water leaves.  Footplate in bracket-corbel representing acanthus leaves and pine cones. 

Cover in white marble lightly veined in gray. Stamped J.H. RIESENER.

Period: Louis XVI, circa 1780-1785.

Measures. Height: 34.3 inches.  Length: 47 inches.  Depth: 21.9 inches.

Restored.  Polished with wax.

Provenance

  • Castle of Budé à Yerres, domain of the Hamelin family until 2000.  Our commode, hidden during the Revolution, was accidentally found at the end of World War II.
  • Tarn collection after 2004.


Jean Pâris de Montmartel, lord of Brunoy, sold the castle to Jean Philippe David in 1745, and the latter resold it in 1795. 

Jean-Henri Riesener (1734-1806) was a German cabinetmaker who learned his art with Jean-Francois Oeben.  He was ordered master in 1768 and replaced Joubert as ordinary cabinetmaker of the Crown.  He was the most famous furniture provider oft he highest figures of the Kingdom during the second half of the 18th century.  In our commode we can find the aesthetic qualities, the sobriety of the lines, the magnificence of the bronzes and the fine construction that were characteristic of his work.

Our commode witnesses the change of taste of the period (1765-1770).  We can trace it to 1785 because of its construction.  It perfectly illustrates the simplicity of the decor privileged by Riesener.

It can be related to the commode of the Bouvier collection (Musée du Carnavalet) and to the commode of the Nelly Debray collection (same museum).