Luxury Design, Past & Present
A Louis XV period antique French Provençal walnut commode circa 1750 with a serpentine front having two short drawers above two long drawers each affixed with the original bronze doré hardware. The patina on this commode is exceptional. Constructed and finished entirely by hand this antique French walnut chest of drawers from Provence showcases the exceptional skill of french cabinetry during the eighteenth century. The front of the chest has a serpentine shape that moves outward and inward both in the frame of the chest as well as each of the four drawers that comprise the storage. All of the drawers feature deeply incised carving in order to capture the flow of light as it moves across the chest. Please recall that the only natural light available during the 1750's came from candles and open fires which produced a flickering glow unlike the steadiness of electricity we are accustome dto today. The ebb and flow of light was an integral component of the design process during the reigns of King Louis XV and Louis XVI in France. In addition to the carving please look at the lavish cast bronze hardware affixed to each drawer front. Full of detail and visual interest these handles were also originally gilded for maximum brightness in a darkened room. Now they have weathered to an appealing color impossible to achieve in new hardware. The entire commode stands upon flared cabriole legs that reinforce the emphasis on curved lines abindantly visible upon this piece. Connecting the front feet is a dramatically shaped apron with a grandly curving sweep. All of these design components were made famous by the style of furnishings at the French Royal Court which were copied by everyone with the slightest connection to the aristocracy as a way of showing allegiance to the ruling elite. Even the sides of the commode are finished to a high degree with a pair of rectangular recessed panels set into the left and right side. When opened each drawer reveals the massive hand cut dovetails that identify the age as well as the contemporary fabric lined interior. The gleam and depth of the patina on this antique french commode or chest of drawers is sumptuous to behold and to have the experience of living with each day.