England, c1780



The commode veneered in highly figured and select gonçalo alves* throughout, and enriched with kingwood cross-banding and satinwood string line inlays; the serpentine top with kingwood cross-banding outlined with satinwood sting line inlay, above a conforming bombe-sided serpentine case with three full-width drawers of graduated depths, each similarly veneered and cross-banded; all edges of each drawer further cockbeaded in satinwood**; the drawer dividers with diagonally grained kingwood; the whole raised on splayed "French" feet siding a similarly veneered shaped apron; distinctive Dublin pattern swan-neck handles


*Gonçalo alves - also known as zebrawood (Albuera) or tigerwood due to the highly contrasting grain - is an extremely rare exotic wood, emanating from South America, particularly Brazil.  It was used for finer furniture in England for a relatively short period of time.  Highly prized for its beauty, the cost of Gonçalo Alves was approximately 40% more than mahogany.   The wood itself is hard, heavy, and dense, with a fine texture. The interlocked grain can make it difficult to work, even dulling tools; however, the wood polishes to a very rich reddish brown without the need for stain or filler.  It is more pest and moisture resistant than many of the tropical woods.


Note : Variations of this form are shown in The Cabinet-Maker & Upholsters’ Guide, George Hepplewhite.

**For a similar Hepplewhite example, also with Dublin brasses and appearing to have satinwood cockbeading,

see Sheraton, Hepplewhite & Regency Furniture, F. Lewis Hinkley, Pl. 249, p. 132.


33-1/2” High x 48-1/4” Wide x 23-13/16” Deep





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Fine George III Goçalo Alves, Kingwood and Satinwood Commode, of George Hepplewhite Design, England, c1780  


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