M. FORD CREECH ANTIQUES & FINE ARTS
FINE GEORGE III GONÇALO ALVES* COMMODE
OF HEPPLEWHITE DESIGN
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
bomb?-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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M. Ford Creech Antiques & Fine Arts / 581
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Fine George III Goçalo Alves, Kingwood and Satinwood Commode, of George Hepplewhite
Design, England, c1780
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