Commode

  • Designer / Maker

    Designed and manufactured by George Bullock (d. 1818)

  • Detail

    Rosewood and ebony, with brass inlay and gilt-lacquered bronze mounts; the porphyry top of later date

    36 ¼ in (93 cm) × 43 in (110 cm) × 26 ½ in (67 cm)

    English (London), circa 1815

  • Provenance

    [ … ]; English private collection, since 1960s

  • Collection

    American private collection

  • Literature

    Martin Levy, ‘George Bullock’s Partnership with Charles Fraser 1813–1818, and the Stock-in-Trade Sale, 1819’, Furniture History XXV (1989), Fig. 6

  • Notes

    Cabinets distinguished by their free-standing metal-mounted ‘Persic pillars’ represent Bullock’s oeuvre at its most majestic. The present example should be compared to the well-known pair of cabinets supplied to the Duke of Atholl, first published by Anthony Coleridge in ‘The Work of George Bullock, Cabinet-maker, in Scotland: 1’, The Connoisseur, April 1965, Figs 4 and 5. A third grand cabinet, also supplied to the Duke of Atholl, is in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge (see Clive Wainwright, et al., George Bullock: Cabinet-Maker, exn cat., London, 1988, under no. 9, Fig. 25). A further pair of related cabinets, supplied to the Duke of Abercorn, is included in George Bullock: Cabinet-Maker, no. 23.

    The design for a cabinet of the same general form is preserved in the Wilkinson Tracings (City Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham), p. 86 – see left.

    The present cabinet is identical to one formerly in the collection of the late Queen Mary (sold Christie’s, 1 October 1959, lot 45) and later in the collection of the late Helena Hayward (sold Sotheby’s, London, 4 July 1997, lot 107). The Hayward cabinet retains its original porphyry slab, on which the present top has been based.