Rare Commode "sauteuse" with two drawers without rail in marquetry of precious woods (amaranth, rosewood, boxwood, sycamore) and engraved and stained woods (green and blue stained sycamore).
The facade with central projection "Greek" and the sides with marquetry decorations of ancient ruins, with temples with columns decorated with Corinthian capitals.
The uprights with large cut sides ending with arched feet.
Very beautiful ornamentation of original bronzes gilded with mercury and taken back cold in chasing, of which handles of pulling in tores of laurels, bottom of lamp with the bust of Louis XV, arrests, slippers of feet and plates in oak leaves and triglyphs marrying the cuts of the marquetry.
Original St Anne grey marble top.
Very good condition, small restorations of use to the marquetry.
The two uprights stamped A.L GILBERT and JME.
Wax seal of ownership in Cyrillic. (Probably Poland)
Work of André Louis Gilbert, Paris transition of the Louis XV and Louis XVI periods around 1775.
Width: 125 cm; Height: 86 cm; Depth: 59 cm
The chest of drawers that we present is a very beautiful example of the marquetry decorations of ancient ruins which met a great success at the end of the reign of Louis XV.
If several craftsmen tried the technique, André Louis Gilbert was the undisputed master of this type of marquetry, so much so that in the old inventories, this type of chest of drawers was simply called "A Gilbert chest of drawers".
If today this stamp is very appreciated by the restricted circle of connoisseurs, his reputation went far beyond the borders of the kingdom during his lifetime.
Our cabinetmaker was inspired by the productions of the painter Hubert Robert, to obtain maximum precision and a colorful rendering, he used finely engraved wood and especially tinted, especially in green, using a process now forgotten.
On a few rare models, including the chest of drawers we present, he will also incorporate a blue tint to simulate the celestial color.
The soft tone and nuances of these vegetal shades give this production an inimitable rendering as well as a relative modernity, accentuated also by the purity of the lines and the contrast of the precious woods that frame these true wooden paintings.
The bronze ornamentation, with the bust of Louis XV, probably refers us to a tribute to the king who died in 1775.
The wax seal indicates that our chest of drawers was formerly in a Polish collection, like many French pieces of furniture that were exported to that country during the reign of Louis XV.
France had indeed close relations with the country of origin of Queen Marie Leszczynska during this period.
*GILBERT André-Louis, a notable cabinetmaker, born in Paris in 1746, died in this city on April 3, 1809. At the age of twenty-three, being a worker at Noël Malle's, he was guilty of an act of indelicacy and had to enlist in the guard of the guet to avoid prison. After being discharged, he received his master's degree on July 20, 1774, and first established himself on rue Traversière. In 1785, we find him in the Grande rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine, "at the corner of that of Charonne". His workshop was in full prosperity when the Revolution broke out. Although he had nothing to gain from the triumph of "subversive ideas", Gilbert seems to have adopted them with enthusiasm and was one of the Vainqueurs de la Bastille. He then resumed service in the company of chasseurs organized by the future general Hulin, moved in 1792 to the 35th division of the gendarmerie, became an officer in the police legion the following year, and was appointed lieutenant in the 59th demi-brigade in December 1799.
By this time Gilbert had not practiced for a long time. Ruined by the political unrest he had helped to create, he ended his days in the Saint-Antoine hospital.
We know of many works signed with his mark A. L. GILBERT. Among those which are linked to the beginnings of his career, it is necessary to quote a commode having belonged to Mr. Louis Sarlin and a secretary which depended on the Caclard succession. These two beautiful pieces of furniture, with satinwood veneers, are characterized by their proud and sober elegance. I saw the same craftsman a curious chest of drawers in the transitional style Louis XV to Louis XVI, in mosaics with squares and rosettes of a bright red on yellow background. The later productions of Gilbert offer for the most part nuanced marquetry of a rather original kind. This master made a specialty of imitating in colored wood the compositions with architectural motifs that the painter Hubert Robert had put in vogue. He executed these small paintings in the manner of the famous marquetry artist David Rœntgen, by multiplying the finely shaded pieces of report, without however being bound to the meticulousness of the German artist.