The word commode comes from the French language and means ‘convenient’ or ‘suitable’, and this in turn is derived from the Latin word commodus. Not to be mistaken for its English equivalent, which denotes a toilet, a French commode is indeed a very convenient piece of furniture, similar to a chest of drawers though lower and suitable for the general living rooms of the house as opposed to the bedroom, fitted with well-sized drawers used for storage. They were often elaborately shaped and decorated with inlays, ormolu, and marble.
As with many of our pieces, Wallrocks can custom restore to meet a clients specific requirements, whilst maintaining the integrity of each piece. Some of the less formal/country pieces might need little more than a wax, whilst formal marquetry antique commodes might need minor repairs along with a clean and re-polish, with attention being given to the handles, escutcheons and decorative mounts. All of this work is skillfully completed in our on site workroom.
When scouring the globe for our next shipment of antiques, it is an exciting moment when we chance upon a genuine pair of antique commodes. Whilst we usually have the fortune to find some single marquetry antique commodes of varying sizes and styles during our visits, it is quite the exception to be able to find a perfect pair. There is no doubt that many commodes would have started off as a pair, standing either side of a chimney breast, doorway or window pier in a fine 18th or 19th century house, but unfortunately over the course of time, as the pieces were handed down through the generations, the law of inheritance often meant that pairs were split.
Wallrocks has been lucky enough to have two or three pairs in the last few years, and none quite so magnificent as the pair shown in our before and after restoration gallery. Victims of time, dirt and sunlight, we have managed to bring these stunning pieces back to their full magnificence.
To view our available marquetry antique commodes please enquire.
This beautiful inlaid commode was covered in old polish that had lost its translucency over time from age and exposure to sunlight. A clean and re-polish revealed what lay beneath.
Jannene Madden, Melbourne, Victoria
Christine Spencer, Brisbane, Queensland
Joan Greenwood, Warrick
Nerolie Withnall, BA LLB Company Director & Former Lawyer, Brisbane Australia
Doug Patrick, Melbourne, Victoria
Narissa Perks - Director NT Corporate, Perth WA