Commode by Simon Oeben
This commode, referred to as « à la grecque » (in the Greek manner) due to its rectangular shape, opens with two main drawers sans traverse. The front and sides are adorned with a tulip wood marquetry displaying a cubic design, within amaranth compartments. Ormolu pull-rings underline the sides and center of each panel. The molded top in red griotte marble rests on three small frieze drawers, enhanced with a chased ormolu frieze. The canted corners feature chased ormolu ram’s heads forming angle chutes, ending in sinuous legs adorned with an ormolu acanthus leaf. The lower frieze is ornate with an apron centered with a chased ormolu element.
« A la grecque » commodes were Simon Oeben’s favorite. He replaced his typically restrained marquetry here with a very refined cube marquetry, in perfect harmony with the ormolu mounts. He was inspired by the work of his brother Jean-François, a renowned marquetry artist and master cabinet maker during the Transition period, notorious for his furniture enhanced with precious wood featuring geometrical marquetry.