A Decorative North German Provincial Painted & White Marble Topped Commode c.1860

Origin: German
Period: Revivale
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1860
Width: 43”
Height: 37”
Depth: 20” (all at top)

The dark forest green painted softwood commode with painted highlights and stenciled gilt tracery detailing having a shaped and beveled edged white marble top over two short drawers and three long displaying the original porcelain knob handles, the whole standing on a shaped apron, surviving from the third quarter of nineteenth century northern Germany.

The piece shows some rather attractive wear and tear to the paintwork making it very decorative with scuffing commensurate with its age, but the whole is superbly original order and the drawers run smooth with the carcass structurally sound. The top two drawers benefit from having keys with working locks. The marble top has some marks to it but nothing too detrimental.

The continental provincial feel of the paintwork and tracery has rococo, gothic and black forest influences to it with this piece fitting into the Neo-Renaissance period in Germany c.1845-1900. As elsewhere in Europe, the fashionable styles in northern lands reflected only the tastes and symbols of the aristocratic class, although some of these styles filtered down through the classes and accommodated themselves to indigenous skills and tastes. Woodcarving is a local art where wood is abundant and appreciated, such as the Alps and the Black Forest. German craftsmen produced unique furniture in provincial regions from the earlier times through to the Industrial Revolution and this piece is very much part of that period.

With a bohemian tang in the air this is an attractive and folksy piece of painted furniture.