This is a wonderful antique French commode with a parcel paint finish from Provence, dating to the end of the 1800s. It has a rectangular conforming marble top and a restrained shaped front over a recessed, conforming frieze. There are three drawers with shaped raised panels having intervening transverse rails, six cast bronze handles, and bronze keyhole escutcheon plates, all of which have been painted with the corresponding color of the commode. The ornamentation on the handles is stylized cartouches with branches of leaves and c-scrolls beneath. The keyhole escutcheon plate is a crown with fleur-de-lys above the keyhole which is surrounded by gadrooned acanthus leaves and foliage. The rounded corners have been left plain with only a border molding. The sides are arched with shaped indents and a raised conforming center panel. The apron is shaped with an asymmetrical central gadrooned acanthus leaf and c-scroll leaves. The front feet are scrolled while the back feet have incised scrolls facing to the back.
Painting furniture in France began in the 1500’s and were mixtures of chalk and pigments from flowers that deterred bug infestations. Since the climate in Provence and other southern areas is warmer, more painted furniture, shutters, and anything else made of wood often had painted finishes. This particular chest was re-finished at a later date.
CONDITION: Very good. Previous restorations, chips to paint; rubs and nicks to wood
H=37, W=49 7/16, D=24 1/2
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