11619

AN UNUSUAL RECESSED EARLY GEORGE III MAHOGANY AND INLAID WRITING COMMODE, BEARING THE CREST OF THE DUKES OF NORFOLK

English. Circa 1760.

Measurements

Height: 33" (84 cm); Width: 51" (130 cm); Depth: 25" (61 cm).

Research:
Of mahogany, exotic woods, and bone inlay. The rectangular reentrant top with inlaid with two ovals, flanking a central adjustable writing surface inlaid with lozenge design, above three conforming reentrant frieze drawers, two flanking and one at the center, all with crossbanded veneer. The side drawers above protruding baluster shaped doors each inlaid with crossbanding and a central oval containing the Norfolk crest, the doors enclosing six graduated drawers on either side of a recessed crossbanded door, the whole raised on shaped bracket feet; rear feet replaced. 

It appears at some point whether originally or long ago the commode had been fitted in to a room with a projecting wall necessitating four inches to be removed  at a diagonal from the back right hand corners. When removed from said position,  great care was taken to reinstate the corner and furthermore a mahogany back was also fabricated to cause the piece to be free standing. The internal drawers, while all with their original fronts and gilded swan neck handles, may have undergone very old relinings to the right hand bank.  Similarly two of the frieze drawers may have been relined or it is also possible that two separate craftsmen were at work on the lining thus explaining the differences in treatment of the dovetailing. 

The inspiration for this unusual late George II kneehole table is to be found within a model of furniture which Thomas Chippendale termed a ‘Bureau Dressing Table’ and appears in his Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker’s Director, published in three editions from 1754. In other words, it was created for the dual function of writing and vanity purposes, likely in the principle bedroom of an important house. An extant cabinet-fronted version of a dressing bureau with marquetry decoration is in the collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum. 

Full research report available on request. 

Full research report available on request.