A late Louis XV ormolu-mounted mahogany breakfront commode a la Greque by Jean Francois-Oeben (German, 1721-1763), third quarter of the 18th Century, white veined marble top with moulded edge, over oak lined triple frieze drawers simulated as one long drawer over two long drawers below with ormolu escutcheons and wreath ring handles and serpentine apron, internal scroll bright cut engraved gilt metal lock mechanisms, on cabriole legs terminating in ormolu paw sabots, stamped J.F. Oeben to the right hand underside, indistinct marks and stencilled 20 mark, height 93cm, width 135cm, depth 63cm. Notes: This distinctive form of commode, known as a 'commode ? la grecque' and executed in either mahogany or bois satin?, was almost exclusively supplied by les fr?res Oeben to two clients: the duc de Choiseul and Madame de Pompadour. The duc de Choiseul acquired the ch?teau de Chanteloup in 1763, the year of Jean-Fran?ois Oeben's death, and he therefore turned to his brother, the ?b?niste Simon Oeben (ma?tre in 1769) to supply the furniture, a fact which is testified to by the numerous pieces stamped by both ?b?niste and the Chanteloup inventory mark. However, it is entirely possible that Choiseul had already commissioned Jean-Fran?ois Oeben to supply such furnishings for his Parisian h?tel on his return from his Embassy in Vienna in 1759. Following the death of the duc de Choiseul, the ch?teau de Chanteloup was sold to the duc de Penthi?vre and he subsequently stamped the contents with his marque au feu. The furniture from his Parisian h?tel, however, was sold at auction and much of this was purchased by the Garde-Meuble, including the commode of this form sold anonymously at Sotheby's Monaco, 26-27 February 1992, lot 220. Another Choiseul commode, attributed to Oeben and painted with a closely related inventory mark 'No. 10', was sold anonymously in Paris, Ader Picard Tajan, 24 June 1985, lot 166. Madame de Pompadour was, however, undoubtedly Oeben's most important client. In the inventory drawn up following her death in 1764, no less than 17 commodes ? la grecque are recorded, all supplied by Oeben between 1761-3 for the ch?teaux de Versailles, Auvilliers and M?nars. The importance of Madame de Pompadour's patronage in the creation of this form is furthermore underlined by the inventory taken following Oeben's own demise in 1763, in which '710 livres weight of mahogany in 4 planks and one sheet of the same wood 9 pieds long' are mentioned, 'the remains of the mahogany bought by Oeben on the orders of the Marquise de Pompadour, and to whom it belonged'.
Sold for: £11,000