George III Painted Commode


of serpentine shape in the manner of John Cobb with three long drawers raised on tall splaying legs, delicately painted with trailing flowers and leaves in naturalistic colours on a cream ground.

Height 88 cm (34.15 inches)
Width 113 cm (44.5 inches)
Depth 53 cm (21 inches)
circa 1765

This commode typifies the elegant style in the French manner popularised by George Hepplewhite in his A Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer’s Guide of 1788. Although it is not possible to identify the maker of this commode, elements of its design and decoration relate it to various works supplied by the best cabinetmakers of the late 18th century. Its French serpentined form evolves from commodes such as The St.Giles House commodes and the commodes with marquetry vase-medallions supplied to Corsham Court, Wiltshire in 1772 by John Cobb, cabinet-maker to King George III (reproduced in R. Edwards, A Shorter Dictionary of English Furniture, 1977, p. 250, fig. 15).

Whilst clearly not by a metropolitan cabinet maker, the sophisticated form is particularly noteworthy. It is unusual to find such original painted decoration on an english chest, though this is probably due to the fashion of stripping furniture in the 20thC.

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