Antique Gesso on Pine Commode / Chest of Drawers
(Northern European, circa 1780 to 1820)
A very striking and impressive pine commode chest with three full-width drawers. Custom made glass top. Elaborate gesso decoration depicting classical themes.
Originally painted green, as evidenced by traces of old green paint. May well have also had gilt highlighting in paint or gold leaf.
Very likely to have been specially commissioned as a marriage or dowry piece.
Top drawer features a bold moulded arch with central stylised representation of God, symbolising a powerful God in heaven overseeing the Earth below, and breathing out new life. Below are swags filled with abundant floral decoration symbolising a bountiful spring.
The drawers below feature floral and foliate decoration around a central oyster shell design. The bottom drawer is a mirror reflection of the one above, symbolic of "as above so below" which also means "on Earth as in Heaven".
Caryatid column of classical Greek figure to each corner. The presence of these in each corner represents the four seasons, the four seasons and the four corners of the Earth.
All top corners are rounded, and bottom corners canted, complementing the side decoration perfectly.
Both sides with large inset arched panel featuring further extensive floral and foliate decoration, including two cornucopia (horn of plenty) symbolising abundance.
Central to the panel are a torch and sceptre. The way they are crossed, creating four sections each filled with foliate decoration is again symbolic of the four directions and four seasons.
The top section of the panel features swags filled with abundant floral decoration. To the bottom are a dolphin and a whale, symbolising good luck and wisdom.
Geometric patterned decoration to the top of the sides extends all the way around, including the back.
Fine panelled back, further showing the quality of the piece.
Standing on bun feet inset with original casters.
Drawers slide in and out very easily for such a large piece. A piece this size would be made in pine because of the weight of the timber.
A superb one-off statement piece.
40.00 inches high, 62.50 inches wide, 23.00 inches deep
(101.60 cm high, 158.75 cm wide, 58.42 cm deep)
Ticket price £5,750.00
Reference - Chest 6385