Ormolu mounted and Chinese lacquer commode by Maison Forest

By Maison Forest (French, active late 19th Century)


Combining Western and Eastern design styles, the commode is adorned with a traditional Chinese scene framed in carved wood and shining ormolu.


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This outstanding commode was crafted in late 19th century France by Maison Forest (founded in 1883) who was a renowned firm of cabinetmakers. The commode combines Eastern and Western design styles, celebrating the superb skills of both European and Chinese craftsmen.

The piece is topped by a large marble top. Coloured in shades of red and cream, the richly veined marble beautifully matches the ormolu mounted mahogany frieze below. Drawer fronts as well as the sides are inlaid with Chinese lacquered panels. All panels come together to depict a wonderful scene set in a woodland. A large brown bridge occupies a large portion of the scene on which groups of people are seen standing. Around it are further figures undertaking various tasks such as controlling their unruly children or collecting flowers.  The rich selection of various textures and colours aids in the detailed depiction of the fascinating scene. The drawer fronts are further mounted with oval escutcheons adorned with acanthus detailing, as well as garland-shaped handles.

Supporting the commode are four prominent oval uprights. Various ormolu mounts, some depicting arrows and rope and all superbly cast, adorn the mahogany features. The pillars terminate with fluted tapering feet mounted with ormolu sabots.

The top of the drawer bears the maker’s label reading ‘Maison Forest / H. Bézier / Sue 2 / Paris / 31, Rue Cambacéres’, while ‘FF’ stamps can be found on the reverse of some mounts.

Of a very interesting and unusual design, this commode would be an attention-grabbing addition to the appropriate interior space.


Artist / Maker
By Maison Forest (French, active late 19th Century)
Country of Origin
Date of Manufacture
Late 19th Century
Late 19th Century
Louis XVI
Lacquer, Mahogany, Ormolu (Gilt Bronze)
Black, Brown, Gold


95 cm / 37.4 inches
166.5 cm / 65.4 inches
61 cm / 24 inches


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