To finish up this topic, I went back through nine months of auctions looking for more Italian furniture. I discovered I didn’t take pictures of a few I thought looked too French. I am not a big fan of overly decorated French furniture. My prejudice got in the way of my search for the truth, a mistake I promise not to repeat. In the future, I will check the online catalog first and then ignore only the true French furniture.
Apparently, the commode (a chest of drawers or chiffonier of a decorative type popular in the 18th century) was also very popular with regional collectors of Italian furniture. Or the Italians made a lot of this very common form. The form may be common but the level of decoration is not. Then again, it could be that the collections of primitive/undecorated furniture has not yet hit the market. Or people don’t collect primitive Italian furniture. Or maybe it was just burned as much old furniture was.
First up is this:
Antique Italian Parquetry Inlaid Commode
This lot has sold for $1,200.
Description: 18th century, walnut, with burlwood, ebony, and mixed wood veneers, rectangular form, banded top with geometric and star inlay, three drawers with repeating star inlays to drawer fronts and sides, raised on square tapered legs.
Size: 39 x 51 x 24 in.
Condition: Fair condition; with veneer chips and loss; shrinkage cracks throughout; ill fitting drawers; insect damage; replaced and repaired legs
Detail of the parquetry on the top.
Similar to the parquetry on the drawers.
The side is equally decorated.
And here is a non-historically informed repair. The mmending plate is Chinese.
Parquetry or marquetry. Click HERE for one opinion. For this blog, I quote the source. Spelling errors are theirs.
Next is this:
Italian Parquetry Inlaid Commode
- This lot has sold for $5,500.
Description: 18th century, mahogany veneers, light and dark wood inlays, pine secondary, rectangular top with allover geometric inlay, the molded edge with notched corners, the case featuring three long drawers with geometric inlays, flanked by corner posts featuring lightwood inlays to each side, left and right side panels feature complementing geometric inlays, raised on square tapered legs.
Size: 34.5 x 49 x 23 in.
Condition: Top with light warp; shrinkage separation cracks to left and right side panel; three later support boards to underside of case.
Estimate: $1,000 – $2,000
The estimate was a bit off. It always depends on who shows up.
And then there is the:
Italian Marquetry Inlaid Commode
- This lot has sold for $900.
Description: 18th century, mahogany veneer, pine secondary, the rectangular top with a banded veneer border featuring a lightwood inlaid central urn flanked by swans, the case with three long drawers, featuring inlaid lion heads, swags and tassels, paneled stiles with inlays, side panels with inlaid with wreath torch and archery bow, raised on square tapered feet.
Size: 34.5 x 48 x 22.5 in.
Condition: Replaced pulls; cut and repair to right front corner edge; light veneer buckling and separation shrinkage cracks; veneer chip and loss to lower drawer edge; some veneer patches to drawers; estate condition; two brass handles need repair or replacement; drawers do not operate smoothly; will need a tune up.
Estimate: $800 – $1,200
A much better estimate.
There be swans.
A replaced pull but still quite interesting. But when was it replaced? And why?
And finally our parade of commodes come to an end with the:
Italian Neoclassical Inlaid Commode
This lot has sold for $3,200.
Description: Circa 1800, mahogany veneers, satinwood inlays, the rectangular top featuring centralized figural scene featuring a soldier with mother and child set within a rectangular vine and leaf border, the case with three inlaid drawers, the upper drawer with urn and dragons, each stile with ebonized applied half column, the whole raised on straight rectangular inlaid feet, inlaid side panels with figural scenes.
Size: 32.5 x 45.75 x 20.5 in.
Condition: Minor chipping and veneer losses throughout; replaced pulls; some replaced back boards, needs some tune-up.
Estimate: $600 – $900
Any commode tuners out there? Estimate was again a bit off but in a good way.
They like to decorate the sides, as well. Undecorated boards on the back., however.
Cupid in brass.
To finish with something completely different:
One of two. This lot has sold for $50. A bargain. Canes not included.
Description: 19th century, walnut, scrolled carved ears, molded arms, stretcher base with relief carved shoe feet.
Size: 52 x 25 x 21 in.
Condition: Needs upholstered; insect damage; chips and losses especially to arms.
Shouldn’t that be Needs to be upholstered?r Needs upholstering?
Enough of the Italian for now. I’ve run out of major pieces. Maybe some Italianate furniture down the road a bit.