My Mazamet

Life at № 42

In research this week: The Commode en Console

“… It’s French name, commode en console, indicates that it is, in fact, a console table designed to stand against a wall and a commode or chest of drawers. A small number of such tables are known today and they appear to have been in vogue during a short period in the middle of the 18th century. Five were sold by the fashionable marchand mercier Lazare Duvaux (ca 1703-1758) between December of 1753 and February of 1757. They were veneered with tulipwood with the exception of one table.” – the most expensive of all which was in lacquer, and now resides at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

In France they had a second appellation, Console Perruquière – as in Wig Console. Ce meuble peu courant était destiné à ranger les perruques attributs indispensable aux gentilhomme de l’aristrocratie francaise du 18ème siècle- meaning: unusual piece of furniture designed to house wigs (and wig paraphernalia), indispensable attribute of the aristocratic French gentleman of the 18th century. I’m not sure if the wigs sat on stands on top of it, or if they went in the drawer.

The one at the Met is quite attractive, but actually one of the very few which doesn’t have four legs. A more typical (not the best word for something so rare) example would be the table by Hubert Hansen sold by Christie’s at Le Goût Français – Arts décoratifs du XVIIe siècle au XIXe siècle in April of 2015 for €17,500.

Image result for commode en console christie's
Another interesting piece is the one by Fidelis Schey and René Dubois circa 1780 which sold for €20,000
Image result for commode en console christie's
A very similar piece to the one above is going up for sale by Millon & Associes, Hotel Drouot – Salle 1 & 7 next week. The very conservative estimate is 3 to 5 thousand euros. That’s a common auction house tactic to generate interest and competition between bidders. It’s very clearly and beautifully estampillé (signed/marked.)
Commode en console dite " perruquière " de forme demi-lune en placage
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18 comments on “In research this week: The Commode en Console

  1. Anony Mole
    June 4, 2018

    Curious stuff. Keep them coming.

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      June 4, 2018

      LOL! Admit it, I’m one of the MOST boring people you know 😀

      Like

      • Anony Mole
        June 4, 2018

        To find an interest, with deep and ingrained threads in culture and creativity, despite how boring that interest might appear, is a gift. The aesthetic mind is a complex one. If you haven’t read Malcolm Gladwell’s Blink, you might like it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        June 4, 2018

        I haven’t read that one, and will put it on my list. I like him as an author. In What the Dog Saw he talks about my grandfather.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Helen Devries
    June 4, 2018

    I can’t afford them…but I can still covet the the Schey and Dubois piece. Not that there would be any point in buying it for this house….

    Liked by 1 person

  3. acflory
    June 4, 2018

    So…the one in the museum. Clearly attached to the wall somehow, but how? How would you attach it without it being obvious or ugly?

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      June 5, 2018

      There are basic ways to attach, like a simple hole through the back board – and then more sophisticated ways like hidden metal plates, metal bars that slide onto wall screws etc. 🙂
      Here’s an example:

      Like

      • acflory
        June 5, 2018

        Aaaah, okay. Thanks for that Pinky. So not some dodgy home-made job. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  4. makagutu
    June 5, 2018

    I am here to admire the stuff on display knowing I may only afford them if you adopt me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Then there is the French Cleat, I think it’s the best hanging system there is.

    How is the dining room coming Pink?

    Liked by 1 person

    • The Pink Agendist
      June 5, 2018

      Indeed. In fact I’ve seen pieces where that sort of construction is part of the console itself. The dining room is waiting for the wallpaper man to give us an appointment… Meanwhile the dining table is being ebonised (black french polish). And I’m on the last phase of floor cleaning before waxing. It’ll still be a couple of months before it’s done :/

      Like

  6. I do learn a lot from you. I had never heard of ebonised, so I googled it and watched a good youtube video. It’s done by fermenting steel wool in vinegar.

    Like

    • The Pink Agendist
      June 7, 2018

      When finished in the old fashioned way, you get an amazing texture/sheen, like real polished ebony:

      Like

      • That’s fricken awesome.

        Liked by 1 person

      • The Pink Agendist
        June 7, 2018

        It’s super resistant too. You can spill anything on it and it’ll be just fine – which is one of the reasons I wanted this finish. In the last house we had an English wood table which had a waxed top and that meant re-polishing once a year.

        Like

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This entry was posted on June 4, 2018 by in art, design and tagged , , , .
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