Comte de Salverte, "Les Ebénistes du XVIIIe Siècle", 1923, p.145, illustrating a very similar commode by Cressent stamped J. Gillet, who was either the retailer or restorer. Pierre Kjellberg, "Le Mobilier Français du XVIIIe Siècle", 1998, p. 199, illustrating a very similar commode by Cressent for comparison. Alexandre Pradère, "Charles Cressent", 2003, pp.283-4, cat. no. 136-7, and p.165, illustrating the above commode by Cressent and stamped Gillet for comparison.
A fine pair of late eighteenth early nineteenth century Rococo style inlaid amaranth and bois satiné commodes after Charles Cressent, each with a serpentine-shaped rouge royal marble top, above a bombé front with two conforming long drawers decorated with a central banded shaped cartouche flanked by S-shaped scrolls and centred at the top by a scallop-edged cabochon suspending a foliate trail with roses, flanked by banded foliate handles, above a draped apron with central palmette surmounted by a stylised coronet and flanked by acanthus leaves, the angles headed by trellis mounts, the sides mounted with foliate mounts, on chute-edged tapering legs terminating in cabochon foliate sabots
Paris, late eighteenth early nineteenth century
Height 90 cm, width 130 cm, depth 56 cm. each.
So popular was the work of the eighteenth century marchand-ébéniste and sculpteur Charles Cressent (1685-1768) that it was frequently copied after his death, especially in the light that original pieces were in short supply. Cressent was undoubtedly the most representative craftsman of the Régence and Rococo period to use elaborate gilt bronze mounts of increasing sculptural quality and splendour on furniture that now relied on relatively simple wood veneers rather than ornate carving. In this Cressent stood alone for it was his early training as a sculptor that led to the originality and quality of the mounts that he produced. Cressent became a master sculptor in 1719 and a member of the Academy of Saint-Luc and is recorded as both sculpteur and ébéniste to the duc d'Orléans. He was constantly in difficulties with the guild of fondeurs and doreurs because he contravened the guild rules by chasing and gilding bronzes in his own workshop. In many instances he even supplied the casters with models that he himself had created.
Cressent designed a number of very distinctive commodes which have now been identified by Alexandre Pradère in his Catalogue Raisonné which notes that original works of this style belonged to a group of only ten examples which he describes as "Les commodes à doubles crosses en S et chutes de fleurs" (A. Pradère, op.cit., pp.283-5). Of that group, Pradère concluded that the earliest model was, as here, the one with a chute mosaique.