Commode c1768 – 70
John Linnell (1729 – 1796)
Marquetry of maple, purplewood, rosewood, walnut, mahogany, holly, fruitwoods, sycamore and other woods with ormolu mounts on a pine, mahogany and oak carcase, 86 x 107 x 46cm
Accession Number LL4376
This piece is related to furniture supplied by John Linnell to Osterley Park, Middlesex, in the late 1760s. It is also similar to some designs for commodes among a large group of Linnell’s drawings (now in the Victoria & Albert Museum). These show him to have been an accomplished draughtsman. This skill is also reflected in the drawing of the marquetry cartouches and trophies on this piece.
This decoration perhaps also reveals the influence of the Paris-trained Swedish cabinet-makers, Georg Haupt and Christopher Fuhrlohg, who were briefly employed in Linnell’s workshop about this time. The subject of the trophies, Music and Painting, suggests the commode was intended for a drawing room devoted to the arts.