An important and very beautiful Louis XV gilt bronze mounted amaranth, bois satiné floral marquetry bombé commode by Pierre Fléchy, stamped P FLECHY and also stamped with the monogram of the jurés JME, with a typed paper label inscribed ‘signed P. Fléchy / Period Louis XV’, the back edge of the marble with paper label inscribed ‘South Wall’ and in red paint ‘16D’, the back of the commode inscribed in red paint ‘160’ twice and ‘L.2221.23’, also with a paper label inscribed ‘lot 302’ and ‘50’, the shaped and moulded serpentine-fronted brêche d’Alep marble top above two drawers inlaid sans traverse with flowering foliate sprays, the sides similarly inlaid, the drawers with a central cartouche-shaped mount enclosed by C-scrolled rocaille mounts centred above by an elaborate escutcheon, with a heart-shaped Rococo cartouche on the waved apron for the lower drawer pull, the cabriole angles hung with elaborately pierced and scrolled floral and foliate gilt bronze pendants linked by a narrow patterned gilt bronze mount running down the forecorner of each splayed leg to foliate scrolled sabot feet
Paris, date circa 1760
Height 89 cm, width 142 cm, depth 69 cm.
Provenance: Harry Payne Bingham, New York (1887-1955). Mr. & Mrs. Charles B. Wrightsman. Sotheby’s, London, 24 June 1988, lot 50
Literature: Charles Packer, “Paris Furniture by the Master Ébénistes”, 1956, fig. 52A, illustrating a near identical commode of the same size, formerly owned by Harry Payne Bingham and then owned by Mr. and Mrs. Charles B. Wrightsman. Jean Nicolay, “L’Art et la Manière des Maîtres Ébénistes Français au XVIIIe Siècle”, 1956, vol. I, p. 181, pl. B, illustrating a similar commode by Pierre Fléchy, of the same overall design and with the same marble top but with heavier and more overt Rococo mounts, sold in Paris 1936. F. J. B. Watson, “The Wrightsman Collection”, 1966, vol. I, no. 95, pp.160-161, describing and illustrating an almost identical commode by Pierre Fléchy also formerly owned by Harry Payne Bingham and now in the Wrightsman Collection, in the Metropolitan Museum, New York.
The importance of this commode not only relies on its beauty and its maker but also upon its illustrious provenance. By the early twentieth century it was owned by Harry Payne Bingham, the son of a wealthy Cleveland businessman and favoured nephew of the magnate Colonel Oliver Hazard Payne, who left him over two million dollars, his Esopus estate and many of his works of art. Where this commode was actually housed is not known for Bingham had many grand properties; in addition to the Esopus estate on the Hudson River, Payne lived in New York at 72nd Street, subsequently at 690 Park Avenue and later at 834 Fifth Avenue. Furnished with some of the greatest works of art, his interiors were a testament to his love of art. A noted collector, art patron, and philanthropist, he was also a keen sportsman and had a strong interest in science. Among numerous roles he was a trustee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, to whom he bequeathed many fine works of art including paintings by Goya, Rubens, Reynolds and Degas, many of which he had inherited from his uncle Col. Oliver H. Payne.
It was therefore fitting that this commode was subsequently acquired by Charles and Jayne Wrightsman, who gave the majority of their collection of furniture, gilt bronzes, porcelain and other great works of art to the Metropolitan Museum. Acquired during the post-war years theirs was to become one of the most important collections of furniture and decorations to rank alongside many a national collection. The three volume catalogue of their collection, published in 1966 by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, details items with provenance from many great earlier generations of collectors, including Viscount Leverhulme, Baron Maurice de Rothschild, the 4th Marquess of Hertford, the Earl of Rosebery and Harry Payne Bingham.
Price : on request
Price : on request
Price : on request