Rare chest of drawers opening with four drawers in three rows.
Model with strong curves in plan and elevation simulating ancient sarcophagi and Renaissance tombs.
Indian purple wood veneer affixed in diamond crimp and inlaid with large brass grooves on the intermediate crosspieces and on the sides.
Rich and important ornamentation of very finely chiseled and gilded original bronzes: falls to the busts of fauns, drooping handles to the shells, keyholes and apron in acanthus scrolls, mustaches in cornucopias, foot slippers in folded acanthus simulating animal claws.
Original royal red marble top. (A letter "M" engraved on the reverse)
Very good condition with perfect integrity of the frame (coniferous) and the interiors of the drawers (walnut).
Parisian work from the Regency period attributable to François Mondon*.
Width: 130cm; Height: 86cm; Depth: 63.5cm
-Sale Sothebys Paris November 9, 2012 Lot 56 (55950 euros)
- Sale Koller Zurich March 25, 2010 Lot 1088 (21,600 Swiss Francs; missing bronzes)
-Franck Baptiste Gallery Archives 2021
Our opinion :
The model of our chest of drawers "with masks of bearded fauns" can be attributed with certainty to the cabinetmaker François Mondon.
Indeed several chests of drawers with similar shapes and bronzes are known and alternately bear the stamps "FM" or "Mondon" used by the master.
In addition, a copy formerly in our collection bore the abbreviated mark "FM" on the corner of a post and on the reverse of the bronze masks, which means that our cabinetmaker produced his own bronzes and owned his models, while like his colleagues Doirat or Lieutaud.
The "Boullesque" style and the still Quatorzian Louis XIV power of our chest of drawers place the birth of the model very early, probably during the Regency period.
Although the model is rare on the market, certainly due to the exorbitant cost of such furniture, it seems that Mondon produced it for several decades.
Indeed it is obvious that some chests of drawers are later than the original model, they have less curved shapes, a lighter wood with the presence of rosewood and fixed handles later than the drooping handles.
These models, already frankly Louis XV, bear the stamp with the full name "Mondon", in accordance with the new statutes of the Jurande voted in 1743.
The earlier models in the style, still very regency, bear the monogram "FM" in accordance with the pieces produced in the decade 1730-1740 and some which do not bear any stamp, could, like our example, be part of the very first models produced in the years 1720-1730.
If the date of accession to the mastery of Mondon is not known, his year of birth (1694) allows us to support this hypothesis, Mondon being almost thirty years old at the end of the Regency, which was already a mature age. for a cabinetmaker.
None of the chests of drawers with fauns bear the hallmark of jurande (appeared in 1751), which gives us an approximate production window for these chests of drawers from 1720 to 1750
With its very curved shapes, its uprights which simulate solid bronze uprights and its heavy handles, the luxurious chest of drawers that we present is one of the most beautiful tomb chests of drawers produced in France in the first part of the 18th century.
*François Mondon (1694-1770) is an 18th century cabinetmaker from a family of artisans from Dauphiné scattered in different regions of France and abroad. He is the great specialist in dressers in the style of the Regency.
We do not know the date of his accession to the mastery, which is probably in the years 1720-1730. In his workshop on rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine, under the name "La Pie", he made a number of chests of drawers which often recall the potbellied models known as "en tombeau" and even chests of drawers with straight uprights in the spirit of Louis XV. . He also delivered some of them to his fellow cabinetmaker and merchant Pierre Migeon as well as to the Crown furniture store.
His stamp also appears on some Louis XV furniture of a little more flexible shapes, with two drawers, almost always with an apparent crosspiece, as well as on secretaries, flat desks, sloping desks but almost not on light furniture.
Always very conservative in his forms as in his decorations, Mondon mainly uses dark veneers of kingwood or rosewood. His bronzes, discreet or opulent, are inspired by Louis XV or Regency models.