A Louis XVI commode - à encadrements - by Cramer et Dautriche. Ormolu-mounted and mahogany chest of drawers. The rectangular shaped and molded grey-veined white marble top, above one long and two short frieze drawers mounted with foliate bronzes, above two long drawers mounted sans traverse with a carved surround and with foliate keyholes, flanked by fluted corners headed by paterae, on turned tapering legs terminating in scrolling sabots. Circa 1770-1780. Stamped twice by Cramer and Dautriche.
Our commode is the result of two great and famous ebenist's collaboration. Made by Jacques van Oostenrijk, known as Dautriche, it was commercialised by Mathieu-Guillaume Cramer. A few years after having become a Master, Mathieu-Guillaume Cramer settled rue du Bac as a cabinetmaker-merchant and then got some of his colleagues working, like Jacques Dautriche. Our commode is characterised by a sober and well-balanced outline, as well as a great neoclassical giltbronze ornamentation. Jacques Dautriche used to produce high-quality furniture, sometimes even masterpieces. He had the huge capacity to adapt himself and his work to the stylistic evolutions of the period. During the first part of his carreer, he produced furniture with geometric or floral marquetries; his second part of carreer was much more influenced by the new aesthetics, i.e. the neoclassical one. The completion of this period was the production of mahogany furniture, like our commode.
Mathieu Guillaume Cramer (death in 1794) was received as Master on September 4, 1771. Born in Germany in the former duchy of Juliers, he came to Paris where, a few months before taking the master's degree, he married the daughter of one of his confreres, Isaac Edmond Collet. His workshop, first rue du Faubourg-Saint-Antoine, will then be transported to rue du Bac. He finished his career on 31 March 1790. This cabinetmaker is known for some very beautiful pieces of furniture in the Transition style, including the King of Sardinia's veneer cylinder desk, which entered the Louvre Museum by dation in 1973, and chests of drawers inlaid with rosettes and quadrilobed interlacing. One of them belongs to the Nissim-de-Camondo Museum in Paris, and two similar ones, with the exception of the plateau, curiously decorated with the same marquetry, went on sale in New York in 1986. However, most of Cramer's work belongs to the Louis XVI style. Very rigorously structured, these pieces of furniture, veneered with mahogany, sometimes rosewood or even lemon tree, are divided into panels often limited by thin gilded bronze chopsticks. These include chests of drawers, small tables for all kinds of uses, desks of different types, including small detachable travel desks, hairdressers, boxes, toiletries, etc. Some models are also decorated with marquetry, in particular garlands of flowers on a light background that can evoke the Topino technique. We also know that Cramer had among his collaborators, the famous Compigné, who adorned some of these pieces of furniture with paintings under glass, notably an oval mahogany table with a view of the Palais Royal (coll. Félix Doistau, sold in Paris in June 1909, no. 328).
Jacques Van Oostenrijk known as Dautriche (died 1778) was received as Master on May 24,1765. Native of the Netherlands, he came to Paris in the early 1740s to work first as a free worker. Established on Rue Traversière and then Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Antoine, he soon acquired a great reputation as a marker and obtained orders for various royal residences as well as for the Count of Artois. He stamps his works with his francized name. After his death, his widow and son, Thomas-Jacques, will continue to run his workshop for some time. Dautriche has made some Louis XV furniture: chests of drawers, small desks, including a cylinder desk with an interwoven mesh veneer, and an inseam shelf with wire mesh (L. 99.5 cm), presented at the Great Cabinetmakers' exhibition, in 1955-1956 at the Musée des Arts décoratifs (ancient collection Cassel van Doorn and Espirito Santo), as well as a beautiful mechanical table with a sliding tray and a writing drawer, inlaid with landscape, angle falls with an old man's head, 82 cm long (sale in Monaco, November 25,1979; coll. Claude Cartier). However, the bulk of Dautriche's production is in the Transition style and Louis XVI style, particularly chests of drawers, secretaries, as well as furniture with support heights and corners, which are quite typical for their powerful fluted pilaster architecture. It is above all his geometrical pattern marquetries which, without being exclusive to him, characterize his style. It marks a clear preference for cubes, overlapping circles, trellises, octagons and rhombuses containing four-leaf leaves. These various patterns are usually arranged in panels that are limited by nets of marquetry or rigorous bronze chopsticks. Several of them sometimes sit side by side on the same piece of furniture, notably on Transition chests of drawers (Ashburnham, London, 26 June 1953; Palais Galliera, 5 December 1974; Sotheby's, Monaco, 15 June 1981...). Dautriche has also used, but less frequently, flower marquetries, lacquer or varnish decorations in the Chinese taste (for its Louis XV chests of drawers in particular), as well as rosewood veneers and especially mahogany veneers, mainly on Louis XVI furniture. There are a number of pieces of furniture of this style (commodels, mahogany mahogany secretaries with bronze chopsticks) that rest on tapered legs with torsic fluted grooves. Bronzes are usually quite discreet. In addition to classic frames and falls, lamp ends and rosettes, Dautriche likes the friezes of posts and the friezes of interlacing, of which he adorns the belt of his furniture.
Really good condition
Les Ébénistes du XVIIIe siècle, leurs œuvres et leurs marques by François de Salverte, Paris, 1962. L'Art et la Manière des Ébénistes français au XVIIIe siècle by Jean Nicolay, Pygmalion editions, 1976. Le Mobilier français du XVIIIe siècle by Pierre Kjellberg, Les Éditions de l'Amateur, 2002. Les Ébénistes Français de Louis XIV à la Révolution by Alexandre Pradère, Paris - 1989.
In his work about the 18th century ebenists, Count François de Salverte describes a similar commode, which belonged to baron de Beurnonville's collection. Another similar mahogany commode, sold in Paris in June 1936, is mentionned in Jean Nicolay's work. To finish, more recently, one was found in a Parisian private collection.