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Commode with drawers

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Commode with drawers


Langlois, Pierre, the Elder (maker) [ULAN info: d. 1767]

Jean, Dominique probably (mount maker)


Leonard D. Cunliffe








Commode with seven drawers, of oak, veneered with rosewood and marquetry in various woods, the top with a scene of classical ruins in a landscape, richly decorated with ormolu mounts of ram's heads, swags, and Greek key ornament, and supported on tapering ormolu legs.

Commode, the carcase of oak veneered with rosewood and fruitwoods, and with ormolu legs and mounts. Rectangular with one long drawer at the top and two pairs of short drawers below. The top is veneered with a marquetry panel of a landscape with ruins and figures set within a border of rosewood. The sides have panels veneered with rosewood and marqutry floral sprays. The commode is richly decorated with ormolu mounts, the top with a gadrooned border and the long drawer with three boldly cast and chased ram's heads linked by beribboned festoons of husks, with four foliate rosettes above, continuing round the sides. A reeded and banded ormolu moulding runs below the long drawer, and another at the base at the front and sides. The four lower drawers have reeded loop handles with foliate rosette backplates. Square ormolu foliate motifs at each corner of the four lower drawers, and at each corner of the side panels are linked by applied carved and gilt Greek key borders. It stands on tapering fluted and gadrooned ormolu legs. The name 'Daniel Langlois' is hand-written in red chalk on the carcase under the top drawer.

Production Notes

It has been suggested that this commode could have been designed by Sir William Chambers. The marquetry panel has similarities with the type of marquetry introduced by Abraham Roentgen at Neuwied-am-Rhein in the mid 1760s. A possible craftsman was his apprentice Johann Michael Rummer (1747-1812) who worked in London with William Gomm for a year in 1765.

Production Place

London? (mount maker)

London? (maker) (place)

England (country)

English (nationality)

Technique Description

oak carcase veneered with rosewood, and marquetry in various woods, with ormolu mounts and legs


height: 89.5 cm
length: 127.5 cm
depth: 60.5 cm


mid 18th Century
George III


circa 1766 to 1767


bequeathed: Cunliffe, Leonard Daneham 1937 (Filtered for: Applied Arts collection)

Captain M. Weyland of Woodeaton, Oxfordshire; sold Christie, Manson & Woods, 2 December 1904, Old English Furniture and old Sèvres porcelain; French Furniture, lot 28, bought by testator.

L. D. Cunliffe Bequest, 1937


  1. name
    Position: on carcase under top drawer
    Method: handwritten in red chalk
    Content: Daniel Langlois
    Interpretation: probably the younger son of Pierre Langlois the Elder
    Language: English


  1. Christie, Manson & Woods (1904) Old English Furniture and old Sèvres porcelain; French Furniture, London2 December 1904)
    [comments: Publ. Lot 28]
  2. (1989 - 90) Treasures from the Fitzwilliam: ''The Increase of Learning and other great Objects of that Noble Foundation'', Cambridge (Cambs.) [page: 114]
    [comments: Publ.]
  3. (1965) Daniel Langlois, London: Furniture History Society [page: 52]
    Source title: Furniture History (1965)
    [comments: Publ. p. 52 brief mention, and pl. XIIA view and pl. XIIB the signature of Daniel Langlois]
  4. Coleridge, Anthony (1968) Chippendale Furniture. The Work of Thomas Chippendale and his Contemporaries in the Rococo Taste, Vile, Cobb, Langlois, Channon, Hallett, Ince and Mayhew, Lock, Johnson, and others circa 1745-1765, London: Faber & Faber [page: 36]
    [comments: Publ., p. 36, mentioned, illustrated pl. 52, the signature of Daniel Langlois, pl. 53.]
  5. Thornton, Peter K. Pierre Langlois, Ebeniste, Part 5, London [page: 33-34]
    Source title: Connoisseur (May 1972)
    [comments: Pujbl. p. 34, fig. 5. Cf. p. 33, fig. 4, one of the commodes at Woburn. The authors rejecting the possibility of a Pierre Langlois attribujtion, presumably not having seen the documentary evidence in the Woburn accounts.]
  6. Hardy, John (1993) AGM and Special Members' Meeting, 21 November 1992, London: The Furniture History Society [page: 15-16]
    Source title: The Furniture History Society Newsletter (February 1993)
    [comments: Publ. The author suggests that Daniel Langlois was the maker of the marquetry top, and mentions the possibility that because it was sold fromWoodeaton, Oxfordshire in 1904, it might have been commissioned by the Duke of Marlborough for Blenheim, where there is a comparable commode]
  7. Hayward, Helena (1993) Pierre Langlois: A further note on the Fitzwilliam commode, London: The Furniture History Society [page: 5-6]
    Source title: The Furniture History Society Newsletter (May 1993)
    [comments: Publ. The author explains why the views expressed in The Furniture History Society Newsletter, 109, concerning Daniel Langlois, could not be true.]
  8. Wood, Lucy (1994) The Lady Lever Art Gallery, Catalogue of Commodes, London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office [page: 19]
    [comments: Publ. p. 19, mentioned in connection with the commode at Woburn, p. 18, fig. 13.]
  9. Gilbert, Christopher (1996) Pictorial Dictionary of Marked London Furniture 1700-1840, Leeds (Yorks.): W.S. Maney & Son Ltd [page: 300]
    [comments: Publ. p. 300, no. 563; the signature of Daniel Langlois fig. 562]
  10. Goodison, Nicholas (2002) Matthew Boulton: Ormolu, London: Christie's [page: 35]
    [comments: Publ. p. 35, discussed and illustrated pl. 6.]
  11. (1982) Treasures of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (Cambs.): Pevensey Press [page: 399]
    [comments: Publ. p. 300, no. 563; the signature of Daniel Langlois, no. 562]
  12. (2005) Treasures of the Fitzwilliam Museum, London: Scala [page: 159]
    [comments: Publ. p. 159, illustrated in colour with brief text]
  13. Beard, Geoffrey (1986) Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1660-1840, Leeds (Yorks.): W.S. Maney & Son Ltd [page: 526]
    [comments: Ref. p. 526 Daniel Langlois, and Pierre Langlois]
  14. Hayward, Helena (1988) Interior Design and Furnishings at Woburn Abbey, London [page: 397]
    Source title: Apollo (June 1988)
    [comments: Cf. p. 397, fig. 9]
  15. Christie's (1997) Important English Furniture, London [page: 223-6, 230-4] 3 July 1997)
    [comments: Ref. and Cf. Further information about Langlois, Peter Thornton, 'The Dundas Commodes', pp. 223-6, and pp. 230-34, lot 102. These commodes are decorated with floral marquetry.]

Other Notes

Description by the late Mrs Helena Hayward, whose full unpublished entry for this commode is in the object's file in the Department of Applied Art

Accession Number

M/F.11-1938 (Applied Arts)
(Reference Number: 95852; Input Date: 2003-11-11 / Last Edit: 2011-07-22)

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