The flat desk allows the installation of wide drawers. It is a success. The drawers were soon adapted into the coffres in the form of small cabinets mounted on high legs. This furniture in turn becomes wider and lower with larger drawers in a strict vertical alignment.
The novelty is so ahead of its time that the name is hard to coin. Named table en bureau in the 1690s, it becomes in 1705 the bureau en commode characterizing its practical use (commode meaning convenient) and simply the commode from about 1708.
Boulle experimented the shapes for his new type of furniture. A commode en tambour (drum shaped dresser) 89 x 126 x 54 cm executed between 1705 and 1715 is estimated € 800K for sale by Sotheby's in Paris on November 5, lot 305.
Its oval design is ephemeral. It is too complicated with its two groups of three feet each at the ends and its detached montants en fuseaux. It is soon superseded by a simpler rectangular design which will remain the ideal storage furniture throughout the eighteenth century and beyond.
The commode for sale is richly decorated in contre-partie in copper, tortoiseshell, pewter and ebony. It has been improved and consolidated in the 1770s by Etienne Levasseur who stamped it. Like many French luxury furniture from that time, it was an element in a pair and its twin in première partie is also known.
SOLD for € 1.2M including premium