Commode thumbnail 1
Commode thumbnail 2
+1
images
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 54

This object consists of 2 parts, some of which may be located elsewhere.

Commode

1740-1746 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Object Type
The top of the chest is hinged and retains its original mahogany supporting arm. The front opens to reveal two drawers, with their original handles. The chest has been used extensively, probably to store clothes in a bedroom or dressing room. In August 1740, Lady Elizabeth Smithson described a 'large Mahogany Chest lind with Green Bays for My Cloathes', standing on one side of her bedchamber at Stanwick, Yorkshire.

Materials & Design
The carcase of the chest is pine. It is veneered on the lid, front and sides with high quality mahogany and the carved elements are in solid mahogany. The five pedestals support the heads of putti and are carved with acanthus foliage and an overlapping guilloche pattern. They are rest on plinths carved with paterae. Between the plinths there are carved C-scroll brackets, their spandrels carved with a diaper pattern. Above the pedestals is a shallow frieze with a floral Greek key pattern.

People
In the early 1740s, Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 4th Earl of Shaftesbury, commissioned the architect Henry Flitcroft to recreate the interiors at St Giles's House, Wimborne, Dorset. The house had been built in the 1650s and Flitcroft redesigned the state dining room, the Tapestry Room and the White Hall. A visitor in 1754 noted that they were 'finished in a very elegant manner'. Flitcroft was also involved with the decoration of Lord Shaftesbury's London house in Grosvenor Square. This handsome chest may have been supplied for use in London or at St Giles's.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Parts
This object consists of 4 parts.

  • Commode
  • Drawer
  • Drawer
  • Key
Materials and Techniques
Mahogany and pine
Brief Description
Mahogany commode, London, 1740-1746.
Dimensions
  • Height: 86.5cm
  • Width: 121.6cm
  • Depth: 64.13cm
Dimensions checked: Registered Description; 19/01/1999 by KN
Gallery Label
British Galleries: This Palladian design for a commode was made in many variations. The heavy shape is divided by narrow scrolling pedestals based on ancient Roman term figures with carved heads. The oval panels are not Palladian and suggest that in the 1740s, when the commode was made, the influence of the new Rococo style was just coming in.(27/03/2003)
Credit line
Bequeathed by C. D. Rotch
Object history
Made for the 4th Earl of Shaftesbury (1711-1771), possibly for his London house. Possibly designed by Henry Flitcroft (born in Hampstead, London,1697, died in London,1769) and made in the London workshops of William Hallett (about 1707-1781); the heads possibly carved by John Boson (active 1720 - after1743)
Summary
Object Type
The top of the chest is hinged and retains its original mahogany supporting arm. The front opens to reveal two drawers, with their original handles. The chest has been used extensively, probably to store clothes in a bedroom or dressing room. In August 1740, Lady Elizabeth Smithson described a 'large Mahogany Chest lind with Green Bays for My Cloathes', standing on one side of her bedchamber at Stanwick, Yorkshire.

Materials & Design
The carcase of the chest is pine. It is veneered on the lid, front and sides with high quality mahogany and the carved elements are in solid mahogany. The five pedestals support the heads of putti and are carved with acanthus foliage and an overlapping guilloche pattern. They are rest on plinths carved with paterae. Between the plinths there are carved C-scroll brackets, their spandrels carved with a diaper pattern. Above the pedestals is a shallow frieze with a floral Greek key pattern.

People
In the early 1740s, Anthony Ashley-Cooper, 4th Earl of Shaftesbury, commissioned the architect Henry Flitcroft to recreate the interiors at St Giles's House, Wimborne, Dorset. The house had been built in the 1650s and Flitcroft redesigned the state dining room, the Tapestry Room and the White Hall. A visitor in 1754 noted that they were 'finished in a very elegant manner'. Flitcroft was also involved with the decoration of Lord Shaftesbury's London house in Grosvenor Square. This handsome chest may have been supplied for use in London or at St Giles's.
Collection
Accession Number
W.74:1 to 4-1962

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record createdMarch 27, 2003
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