A Louis XIV ormolu-mounted 'Boulle' red-tortoiseshell, brass-inlaid and mother-of-pearl commode, circa 1700-10, attributed to Nicolas Sageot. Photo: Christie's Images Ltd., 2010
Decorated with panels of strapwork, foliage, figures, birds, butterflies and animals, the top with engraved brass borders, with two short drawers above three long drawers between projecting angles, on hoof sabots, minor restorations to the marquetry and some mounts replaced; 32 in. (81 cm.) high; 47½ in. (120.5 cm.) wide; 26 in. (66 cm.) deep - Estimate 40,000 - £60,000. Price Realized £124,250
Notes: This impressive commode can be tentatively attributed to Nicolas Sageot (maître in 1706). It bears striking similarities to commodes attributed to Sageot in the Wallace Collection, discussed at length by Peter Hughes in his authoratative The Wallace Collection Catalogue of Furnitre, London, 1996, vol.II, no.137 (F39) and no 139 (F 408). Hughes suggests a date of around 1700 based on the rectlinear shape and pilaster like legs angled outwards, like those of late 17th Century bureaux. A further commode of this form, sold anonymously at Sotheby's Monaco, 2 June 1986, lot 461, displays an identical marquetry top to that on a writing-table stamped by Sageot in the Royal Collection, Stockholm. The reason for Hughes retisence is that the specialist inlayer Toussainte Devoye has been proposed as a possible specialist marqueteur for this group (P. Grand, 'Le Mobilier Boulle et les ateliers de l'époque', L'Estampille L'Objet d'Art, 1993, pp. 48-70, fig. 16-19). A further example from the collection of the Dukes of Devonshire was sold in the Chatsworth Attic sale, Sotheby's House sale, 5-7 October 2010, lot 60 (£103,250).
First recorded in Paris in 1698, Sageot achieved his maîtrise in 1706 and was based in the faubourg Saint-Antoine. He evidently rapidly expanded his business, as by 1711 he had 12,000 livres, almost all in stock-in-trade and indeed he may have acted as a marchand-ébéniste as well. The extensive nature of his business is revealed by the sale in 1720 to Léonard Prieur 'Marchand Mercier Grossier Joaillier Privilegié suivant la Cour' of 16,000 livres worth of furniture, consisting of a wide range of armoires, bureaux and commodes. In the same year he sold 12,000 livres worth of bois de menuiserie to Claude Franois de Maignat, marchand de bois, consisting mainly of oak, pine and limewood.
Christie's. Quai d'Orsay, Paris - An Apartment by Jacques Grange, 19 November 2010, London, King Street www.christies.com