Ref#539 | Description
French earlier rococo, Louis XV style ormolu mounted commode after the model by Roger Vandercruse Lacroix under the direction of Gilles Joubert, Paris, 1769, inlaid with pictorial marquetry, eared marble topped, oval shape, classical motifs, large apron, fine ormolu mounts, three drawers and two doors, raised on ormolu mounted cabriole legs.
The original commode was made for the bedroom of Madame Victoire, daughter of Louis XV, at the Château de Compiègne, where it was placed under a large pier mirror, opposite the fireplace. Depicting trophies, vases, and urns filled with flowers, the marquetry panels were meant to echo the princess’s bed hangings, curtains, and seating covers made of a taffeta chiné (a warp-printed taffeta) with “new patterns of flowerpots.” The colors of the fabric— green, gray, and yellow—were repeated on the commode, whose marquetry panels were stained with natural dyes that have almost completely disappeared. Archival documents attest that Gilles Joubert, cabinetmaker to the king in 1763, delivered this commode to the court. However, the furnishing of royal residences demanded more furniture than the elderly craftsman could provide, and Joubert often subcontracted work to other cabinetmakers, including Roger Vandercruse Lacroix, whose stamp, R.V.L.C., is found in four different places on this commode. Lacroix’s workshop was responsible for the woodwork while an unknown bronze maker designed, cast, and chased the gilt-bronze mounts.
165 x 95 x 53 cm
A prolific craftsman, Gilles Joubert was the leading supplier of furniture to the French royal household of Louis XV for over twenty-five years, delivering over four thousand pieces ranging from simple bidets to richly ornamented desks and tables. He began supplying furniture to the royal Garde-Meuble in 1748, but it was not until he was seventy-four years old that he was given the title of ébéniste du roi (Cabinetmaker to the King).
The volume of Joubert's commissions was so great that he often subcontracted work to other ébénistes in order to keep up with demand. Between 1763 and 1773, he was especially busy delivering about 2200 pieces for use at court, including forty-four writing desks, more than five hundred commodes, over a thousand small tables, and five hundred bidets.
Much of Joubert's furniture was produced before the guild made it mandatory for makers to stamp their furniture, while most of his later work was produced for the court and therefore was exempt from this rule. As a result, scholars must identify his pieces mainly from the detailed descriptions in the inventory of the royal archives.
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