French 18th Century Louis XV Transition Marquetry Commode Entre Deux or Sauteuse in the manner of Louis Noel Malle (1734-1782)
Excellent and rare small commode, so-called “Sauteuse” or “commode entre deux” with rich floral and cube pattern marquetry, made during the reign of French Louis XVI ca. 1775 showing the typical features of the Transition style: standing on four cabriole standing with two gilt-bronze sabots the commode shows a breakfront, canted corners and two drawers. The two drawers show an excellent and rich marquetry “sans travers” with a central oval cartouche which is decorated with a large flower bouquet. The cartouche is framed by trompe l’oeil cube pattern panels. This principle of decoration is repeated at the sides of the commode, where oval cartouches showing flower bouquets and gardening tools are topped by a frieze-like panel with cube pattern. the top of the commode or sauteuse is fully decorated with the same illusionistic cube pattern. A peculiar feature is the hidden secret drawer which can only be revealed by completely removing both drawers from the body of the commode.
The commode does not bear a stamp but all the features of high craftsmanship: the high quality of the detailed marquetry and the shape of the commode are very similar to those made and stamped by Louis Noel Malle ( 1734-1782, master 1765): Malle was considered as one the main ebenistes of Paris at his time and had a workshop as well as a store run by his wife in the rue du Faubourg de Saint-Antoine. He made pieces as well in Louis XV as well as in the Transition style and was renowned for the excellence of his marquetry works. Several times he used central cartouches surrounded by cube pattern as a decoration principle as seen on the commode offered here. A very similar commode is displayed in the Musée Carnavalet in Paris, further pieces of furniture of Malle are shown in the Musée Lambinet in Versailles and in the Frick Collection, New York.
See: Kjellberg, Pierre: Le mobilier francais du XVIIIe siècle, p. 592f., fig. p. 593
Condition: good, minor wear consistent with age and use, minor fading, French polish refreshed – detailed condition report on request