An Extremely Fine George III Satinwood and Marquetry Demi-Lune Commode of Rare Diminutive Scale
Height: 31.5"Width: 22.75"Depth: 17.5"
Inventory Number 7925-158
Executed with the most vibrant satinwood timber and intricately inlaid throughout with ribbon-tied floral and foliate sprays; the molded demi-lune top with a central fan paterae enclosed by unusual roundels set on a harewood ground and issuing radiating satinwood fans with stylized shells and bellflower swags, enclosed by chevron banding; the crossbanded edge over the frieze drawer, above a tambour door cupboard and deep drawer, flanked by boxwood panelled stiles; the sides with equally elaborate decoration.
William Lever, 1st Viscount Leverhulme (1851-1925), bought from Frank Partridge, 18 August 1915.
Lucy Wood. The Lady Lever Art Gallery Catalogue of Commodes.
Because of its diminutive size, this exquisite commode was most likely intended as a night-table. It bears many similarities to plate XLIII in Thomas Sheraton's Drawing Book for a pot-cupboard. "These are used in genteel bed-rooms, and are sometimes finished in satinwood, and in a style a little elevated above their use." Sheraton also observed that a tambour door was preferable for the cupboard, with supplementary compartments "to keep medicines to be taken in the night." In addition to the use of the luxury timber satinwood, the elaborate floral marquetry suggests that this night-table was intended for a very grand bedroom.
The Viscount Leverhulme (1851-1925) formed his collection of late 18th century English furniture between the 1890's and 1920's. While most of his contemporaries, such as Sir Richard Wallace, were mad for French furniture, his belief that "English Art transcends in beauty of outline, form and color that of any of our neighbors, however famous they be" was ahead of his time. The inventory of the collection documents that the present commode, X-608, was acquired by Lever in 1915.