Offered by Kollenburg Antiquairs BV
The front and sides of the commode are rounded. Instead of drawers, the front is fitted with two doors and a single, centrally placed lock with keyplate. The arched corner stiles at the front side are decorated with bronzework at the corners and fitted with sabots in the shape of acanthus volutes as well as floral and leaf patterns. The bronzework upon the skirt and the keyplate consists of asymmetrical flower and leaf ornaments and rocailles.
Both the front and the sides of the commode are decorated with a geometric marquetry pattern in the form of zigzagging bands, between which are small rosettes. The geometric pattern is contained within fields with straight upper edges, arched sides and undulating lower edges. The fields are edged with a band of purpleheart and decorated with a braided ornament in the indented corners. The interior contains a shelf.
The secrétaire à abattant.
Dimensions: height 137 cm; width 109 cm; depth 46 cm;
Medium: oak core, veneered with tulipwood, purpleheart, ash, boxwood and bois teinté. Rouge Royal marble plate, fire-gilt bronzework.
The secrétaire contains a lower cabinet, inside which is a shelf. The lower cabinet closes using two doors. The front of the upper cabinet hinges downwards, in which position it serves as a writing board. The board is covered with green leather on the inner side. The interior of the upper cabinet is veneered with mahogany, tulipwood and boxwood. The interior contains seven drawers, an open compartment and an arched shelf.
The front and sides of the exterior are decorated with zigzagging bands and rosettes within fields with ornamental corners in a braided pattern. The upper and lower cabinets are treated as separate fields. The field on the writing board follows the contours of the board, and curves slightly inwards at the top.
Matched sets of different types of furniture items with identical ornamentation were common in the eighteenth century as a way of reinforcing the unity of a room’s interior decoration. This habit made its way to the Netherlands from France, where unity and harmony in both material and colour were highly valued in interior decoration.
An identical commode ascribed to Horrix currently exists in the collection of Markiezenhof in Bergen op Zoom. These commodes are undoubtedly each other’s counterparts, likely separated during the division of the estate after their owner’s death.
Mathijs Horrix (Lobberich 1735-1809 The Hague) most likely travelled to The Hague in 1761, where he joined the cabinetmakers’ guild in May of 1764. He had registered as a citizen of The Hague in January of 1764, and married Elisabeth de la Fosse, a native of The Hague, in that same year. The couple’s home was on Spuistraat, as was Horrix’s workshop, which developed into a large and versatile workshop from 1770 onwards. In 1771, Horrix joined the Pietersstoel guild in 1771, where he not only held the position of Master Cabinetmaker, but also of “Spaanse stoelenmakers Baas”. Horrix’s employee Willem Corbaz was also registered in the guild as an upholsterer, so that they could also deliver upholstered chairs from then on. From then on, Horrix could effectively build all furniture needed to furnish a house, something that members of the Stadtholder’s Court and other courts eagerly took advantage of, especially because Horrix employed “the latest fashions from Paris”. This was made clear in his business’s name: In de Commode van Paris, or “In the Parisian Commode”. Matthijs Horrix died in 1809 and was succeeded by his cousin, Pieter Paulus Horrix (1767-1840), who had worked in his uncle’s workshop since 1794.
R.J. Baarsen, “In de commode van Parijs tot Den Haag’, Matthijs Horrix (1735-1809), een meubelmaker in Den Haag in de tweede helft van de achttiende eeuw”, in Oud Holland 107, nr. 1, 1993, pp. 161-256
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