A George III mahogany serpentine commode attributed to Thomas Chippendale (1718-1779)

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Lot 51TP
A George III mahogany serpentine commode attributed to Thomas Chippendale (1718-1779)

Sold for £ 44,000 (US$ 53,419) inc. premium
A George III mahogany serpentine commode attributed to Thomas Chippendale (1718-1779)
Circa 1770, the overhanging top with a reverse ogee moulded edge, above four long graduated drawers, the mahogany-lined frieze drawer enclosing three open compartments, over three oak-lined drawers, with an ogee moulded plinth base terminating in scrolled and shaped bracket feet, 145cm wide x 68cm deep x 92cm high, (57in wide x 26 1/2in deep x 36in high)

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    During the late 18th century it is highly probable that the offered lot was housed at Ham Court, which was located in the Malvern Hills, Worcestershire.
    Ham Court served as the historic family home of the Bromleys and the Bromley-Martins from the early 17th century until its demolition in 1926.
    Major Elliott George Bromley-Martin (1866-1946) most likely gained ownership of the present commode at the same time as inheriting Ham Court, his birthplace, from his father George Edward Bromley-Martin (1829-1905).
    Thence the commode passed by descent to Gerald E. Bromley-Martin (1906-1954), who was the Major's son.
    Following Gerald's death in 1954, it is listed as a 'Chippendale mahogany serpentine chest of 4 drawers' in the probate valuation undertaken at Hardley Hall, Norwich, by a firm called Irelands, who were likewise located in Norwich (it is interesting to note that at that time the individual value is given as £45).
    Subsequently this serpentine chest belonged to Gerald's son, Christopher Bromley-Martin (1935-2018), and has clearly remained within the family since 2018.

    The Attribution to Thomas Chippendale
    Comparable commodes include one evidently supplied in circa 1770 by Thomas Chippendale to Wilton House, Wiltshire and a pair dating to 1774 apparently also made by Chippendale for Paxton House, in Paxton near Berwick-upon-Tweed upon behalf of Mrs Home-Robertson. Interestingly these two different models both appear illustrated together on the same page in C. Gilbert, The Life and Work of Thomas Chippendale, 1978, London, fig.'s 205 & 206, p. 117.

    Also, certain characteristics apparent in the construction of the offered lot, when assessed altogether, lead logically to a Chippendale attribution. These characteristics are; the presence of S-shaped keyholes or escutcheons; laminated blocking to the bracket feet; the use of a red wash to the underside and reverse of the drawer fronts; the selection of an extremely fine mahogany timber. Added to this, the design used for the handles (which appear to be original) is also fairly typical of Chippendale's output during the period 1765-1774.
Contacts
A George III mahogany serpentine commode attributed to Thomas Chippendale (1718-1779)
A George III mahogany serpentine commode attributed to Thomas Chippendale (1718-1779)
A George III mahogany serpentine commode attributed to Thomas Chippendale (1718-1779)
A George III mahogany serpentine commode attributed to Thomas Chippendale (1718-1779)
A George III mahogany serpentine commode attributed to Thomas Chippendale (1718-1779)
A George III mahogany serpentine commode attributed to Thomas Chippendale (1718-1779)
Auction information

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Buyer's Premium Rates
27.5% on the first £20,000 of the hammer price;
26% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of £20,000 up to and including £700,000;
20% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of £700,000 up to and including £4,500,000;
and 14.5% of the hammer price of any amounts in excess of £4,500,000.

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