11598 AN ELEGANT GEORGE III MAHOGANY AND BOXWOOD INLAID COMMODE OF RARE FORM AND IMPOSING PROPORTIONS MOUNTED WITH ENGRAVED SILVER AND BRASS HANDLES IN THE MANNER OF THOMAS SHEARER
Of mahogany with boxwood inlay and silver and brass mounted handles. Surmounted by a top with bowed center and incurved end resting upon a corpus with slightly bowed fronted graduated drawers flanked by serpentine shaped cupboards with superbly figured oval panels. The whole raised upon four tapering spaded feet. Note: The handles appear to have been changed very early in the life of the commode as attested by the profound preservation of color to the mahogany surface and remnants of alternative drawer pull beneath the circular backplate. Backboards strengthened with old but later vertical wood attachments.
The unusual form of the present commode relates to design drawings for furniture by Thomas Shearer contained in The Cabinetmakers London Book of Prices and Designs for Cabinet Work... printed for the London Society of Cabinet Makers in 1788. This volume established the basis of popular and adaptable furniture forms and “exhibit their author as a man with an eye at once for simplicity and delicacy of proportion.”1
1. Chisholm, Hugh. The Encyclopædia Britannica: A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Literature and General Information, Volume 24. Cambridge, Eng: At the University Press, 1910–11. 815.
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