Very rare Louis XV period chest of drawers in blond walnut from the Alps, opening with two drawers, curved in front and sides, topped with a marble of La Mure, and bearing the label of 1769. Grenoble 18th century.
Note that we do not have here a chest of drawers described as attributed or attributable to Jean-François Hache, but as a chest of drawers by Jean-François Hache, and bearing the label of the workshop.
It is important to remember that there are many more chests of drawers in the Hache style (and among them many that are wrongly attributed to them / See our article on this subject at this address: http://antiquites-gledel-philippe.chez-alice.fr/T_Commode_de_Jean-Francois_Hache_en_noyer.htm#Les-Faux
than of chests of drawers really made by the Grenoble masters. Their fame was such that they were copied by many carpenters and cabinetmakers in the Dauphiné, among them former apprentices trained at the workshop itself, and their influence was also felt beyond the borders, notably in neighboring Italy, and particularly in Emilia.
We will see below the various technical and visual elements that allow us to attribute a chest of drawers to the Hache family with certainty, but first of all let us say that despite the efforts of their followers, the originality and above all the quality of their workmanship, technically flawless, is such that in the presence of one of their chests of drawers there is no room for the slightest doubt. If Jean-François Hache, in particular, has been copied a lot, he has never been equaled, and his robust but infinitely graceful furniture gives a real emotion to the observer... Like this classic Regency style chest of drawers in natural wood that we present, simple in appearance, but only in appearance, because in truth it is the result of decades of perfecting forms and lines by masters gifted with a great knowledge coupled with artistic genius.
Our chest of drawers still has its label stuck in the top drawer:
It is the label n° V of the Fonvieille classification, used in 1769.
It is entirely curved and made, in accordance with the Hache's priority choice, in a local wood: a superb blond walnut from the Alps, chosen for its beautiful fine grain, for the visible parts, and fir for the darker parts. Although this is a classic Jean-François Hache model, it is distinguished from many others by the richness of the marble and bronze trim, particularly the handles of the finest quality (a Louis XV model that is new to the Hache family and yet absolutely original), and with a lamp base also present on the apron.
The piece of furniture is indeed topped with a marble stone table called "de la Mure", more precisely named Peychagnard. It is a very remarkable gray-black limestone shaded with white. These marbles were cut on the spot with a simple water saw, transported to Grenoble, finished by hand sanding, and thus we find on the facing of this one clear undulations, very characteristic of the marbles of the XVIIIth century.
The Louis XV chests of drawers in natural wood of the Hache are more appreciated with a marble top, so much it is true that these are of a very great beauty and that moreover the chests of drawers which they top are of a remarkable finish and are often enriched by the pose of a bronze of ornament to the clasp of the low crosspiece (at least for the big models), whereas the same models of chests of drawers, but with top of wood, more rustic, are generally not endowed with it. The former were much more expensive at the time (as they remain today on the art market) and were intended (especially for the castles of the Dauphiné almost entirely furnished in natural wood) for ceremonial pieces (as is generally confirmed by the addition of gilding on the bronzes of these models). It is significant that the cabinetmaker indicates precisely in the wording of its advertising labels: "tables and chests of drawers with marble top". They are also much rarer, and so we know only five others (while we could count dozens with wooden top), three large models: the one in the Musée Dauphinois with a similar label of 1769, another one (Aguttes sale) coming from a castle in the Dauphiné (a residence entirely furnished in the 18th century, just like Longpra, by Jean-François Hache) which most probably had the label of 1767, and a third one, the largest, from our old collections, with the label of 1771-1772, and finally two smaller models: one that passed through a public sale at the Hotel Drouot (Brissonneau - Daguerre sale) with the label probably gone, and the other from an old private collection (reproduced in the Fonvieille and now on sale by our colleague Franck Baptiste) with the label also gone.
Two small peculiarities on our chest of drawers, entirely in the manner of Jean-François Hache, which we detail on our site (not here for lack of space): The adjustment of the frame of the chest of drawers to the profile of the thicker marble at the back (appearing however similar to the model of the Musée Dauphinois / See in doc. the view of the side of the chest of drawers) and the scroll profiled in the cut-out on the side.
The original condition of the whole piece of furniture is absolutely superb: The front and side woods are almost free of woodworm attacks. The marble of La Mure, with a very remarkable jaspered aspect, made more than 250 years ago, has never been restored, it presents itself with "a beautiful life" and a superb patina.
Ornamentation of gilded bronze: four handles of pulling, two entries of lock and a cul-de-lampe. Two old iron locks.
Grenoble - Louis XV period - XVIIIth century.
4 800 €