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    A Pair of Fine Jean-Eugène LeClaire Neoclassical Gilt Bronze Mounted Mahogany, Tulipwood, and Fruitwood Parquetry Commodes, 3rd quarter 19th century
    36-1/2 x 39-1/2 x 20-1/2 inches (92.7 x 100.3 x 52.1 cm) (each)


    Estate of Betty Meadows, Dallas, Texas.

    The parquetry commodes, each with canted rectangular marble top, above a guilloche-mounted frieze with central drawer over a pair of drawers inlaid with parquetry, with rounded front angles mounted with garlands and laurels, atop two angled tapering front legs, and two straight tapering back legs. A LECLAIRE, PARIS mark to underside, with JME marks to underside and under marble top.

    These exquisitely crafted commodes, diminutive in scale for 18th century examples, were made in the 3rd quarter of the 19th century, despite bearing the JME (Jurand des Menuisiers-Ébénistes) mark used to identify works approved by the Cabinet Makers & Carpenters Guild. The JME mark became mandatory in 1751, and was used strictly until the guilds were abolished in 1790. The commodes are further marked to the underside LECLAIRE. In contrast to JME, the placement of LECLAIRE does not adhere to standard 18th century practice of mark placement. LECLAIRE is the mark of Jean-Euenene Leclaire, who was granted Master prior to 1855, and was known to have been established at 33 rue Saint Nicholas - Sainte Antoine by 1856. The 18th century JME marks suggest that Jean-Eugene Leclaire branded the commodes LECLAIRE in the 19th century at restoration or for the purpose of a later sale. However, Leclaire was also known for his reproductions of Louis XVI furniture. A bird's eye view of the commode tops below the marble show that the legs are significantly older than the commodes as a whole, suggesting that rather than repair, Leclaire incoporated 18th century legs marked JME into new production.

    A commode-secrétaire, identical to the commodes in this lot, is in the collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum (Museum no. 1089-1882). It is stamped by Pierre Harry Mewesen (French, Master 1766). The commodes presented in this lot relate to the V&A commode-secrétaire precisely in form and mounts employed, and closely in wood choice and parquetry pattern. The V&A's online cataloguing notes indicate uncertainty of age. "Although this kind of commode-secrétaire had been made in the 1780s, the small scale of this one, and the great richness of its decoration, have led us to debate whether it might have been made nearly one hundred years later."

    Condition Report*: Slight chips to one back corner to marble top to one commode, overall presenting very well.
    *Heritage Auctions strives to provide as much information as possible but encourages in-person inspection by bidders. Statements regarding the condition of objects are only for general guidance and should not be relied upon as complete statements of fact, and do not constitute a representation, warranty or assumption of liability by Heritage. Some condition issues may not be noted in the condition report but are apparent in the provided photos which are considered part of the condition report. Please note that we do not de-frame lots estimated at $1,000 or less and may not be able to provide additional details for lots valued under $500. Heritage does not guarantee the condition of frames and shall not be liable for any damage/scratches to frames, glass/acrylic coverings, original boxes, display accessories, or art that has slipped in frames. All lots are sold "AS IS" under the Terms & Conditions of Auction.

    Auction Info

    Auction Dates
    May, 2020
    28th Thursday
    Bids + Registered Phone Bidders: 4
    Lot Tracking Activity: N/A
    Page Views: 3,706

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