11602 A REMARKABLE LATE GEORGE IV GEOMETRIC INLIAD SPECIMEN WOODS COMMODE OF UNUSUALLY SMALL PROPORTIONS English. Circa 1830. Measurements: Height: 31 1/8″ (79 cm); Width: 31 1/2″ (80 cm); Depth: 15″ (38 cm).
Of mahogany or cedar with various specimen woods. The rectangular top with channeled ebonized edge rests upon four turned and reeded outflying columns with ebonzied collars. The corpus’s front set with six drawers each inlaid with a complex system of geometric shapes each inlaid with exotic wood specimens. The plinth base with ebony line inlay rests on four lotus bud carved feet terminating in a toupie toe.
This remarkable commode belongs to the English, often aristocratic tradition, of identifying and collecting rare specimen woods. During the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, some table tops and cabinets were constructed of a variety of rare and interesting woods. This practice, much like the production of furniture displaying specimen marbles and hard stones, was a sign of erudition and “amateur” propensity for scientific inquiry.
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