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Commode

Commode is a French-derived name for a chest of drawers, usually applied to antique examples. Such pieces are seldom purely functional.

Their drawers are often graduated, narrowing in depth from bottom to top. The carcase is sometimes veneered in an exotic wood and may be either inlaid with marquetry, embellished with mounts in gilt bronze (ormolu) surmounted by a marble or hardstone top or a combination of all these.

Some of the more expensive antique examples on the market are either stamped by a French ébéniste (furniture maker) or may be attributed on stylistic grounds to a well-known British or Continental cabinetmaker. 


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A family provenance to chew on: collection bought with proceeds of a biscuit empire

01 July 2024

Two days needed to disperse items collected over generations thanks to biscuit production success

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Previews: issue 2637

01 April 2024

Our selection of lots from 13 upcoming auctions.

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Classic French cabinet commissioned by Louis XV

04 December 2023

A piece of French cabinetmaking with a provenance to Louis XV came up for sale on November 25 at SGL enchères (26.4% buyer’s premium inc tax).

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Gatehouse panels greeted visitors to earl’s new country seat

06 November 2023

Hugely decorative, impeccably provenanced and selling at an impressive sum, a pair of moulded relief panels were another of autumn’s Coade stone stars

Blessington Commode

Pick of the week: Museum steps in to buy Blessington Commode

16 October 2023

An important piece of Irish marquetry furniture scheduled to sell in County Louth last week was withdrawn from sale at the 11th hour after a deal was struck with the National Museum of Ireland.

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Getty collection finale at Christie’s includes English furniture

25 September 2023

Next month Christie’s New York will present the final sales of the remarkable Ann and Gordon Getty collection.

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George III commode at Christie's is a long story

21 August 2023

Attributed to Ince and Mayhew, this lot has an extensive provenance and auction history

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Single-owner Parisian collection includes Louis XVI commode

05 September 2022

A single-owner sale of property from a Parisian collection will be on offer at Artcurial in Paris on September 21.

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Louis XVI-style commode by François Linke offered in Cannes

04 April 2022

This Louis XVI-style commode from c.1900 is by the Parisian ébéniste François Linke (1855-1946).

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Commode linked to Parisian ebeniste Nicolas Sageot offered in Swiss sale

14 March 2022

Among the contemporaries of André Charles Boulle, who perfected the complex form of marquetry that bears his name, was the Parisian ebeniste Nicolas Sageot.

c.1770 commode

Midlands furniture dealer sells 18th century commode to Temple Newsam in Leeds

19 October 2021

Thomas Coulborn & Sons has celebrated BADA Week by announcing the sale of an 18th century commode to Leeds Museums & Galleries for close to £200,000.

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Auction to be staged in a Portuguese palace

20 September 2021

Lisbon firm Veritas is holding an estate sale of works from the collection of the Count of Póvoa, D Manuel de Souza e Holstein-Beck, who died in 2011.

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It must be Malta again

13 September 2021

Once again illustrating that few countries of origin have as great an impact on furniture prices as Malta, this 18th century commode sold for £6800 at Dawsons’ (23% buyer’s premium) July 29 Maidenhead sale.

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Mirror on the crest of an auction wave

19 July 2021

The vast majority of cushion-moulded mirrors from the late 17th century have lost their original cresting, which was both flamboyant and fragile.

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Furniture treasure trove amassed over 30 years

19 July 2021

Prize examples of French 18th century furniture were on offer at Drouot when Hughes Taquet of the auction house Hôtel des Ventes de Mantes-La-Jolie (26.4% buyer’s premium inc VAT) offered the collection of René Siméoni.

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Commode inspired by Anglo-French influence heads impressive Chichester sale

01 March 2021

In a sale that yielded quality and surprises in most sections, the major talking points at Stride & Son (18% buyer’s premium) were provided by two pieces of furniture. Emerging from the same house and given here-to-sell estimates, both achieved five-figure results.

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Mouseman lucky 13

05 October 2020

The best of 13 Mouseman pieces that sold at Morphets (20% buyer’s premium) for a total of £41,000 was a classic early adzed oak and burr oak sideboard made in Robert Thompson’s Kilburn workshop c.1928-30.

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Palace of Versailles buys back €4m rococo commode from US collector

15 July 2019

A Louis XV period rococo commode made in 1744 for the Château de Versailles has returned home after more than 30 years out of France.

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Previews : £30,000 plus

17 June 2019

Our weekly selection from salerooms and dealerships.

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Stamp denotes Parisian origin

29 April 2019

This highly elaborate chest of drawers decorated in boulle marquetry technique with a variety of different figural and foliate motifs featured in the furniture session of a sale at Hampel (29.5% buyer’s premium) in Munich on March 28.