A bulged commode with two drawers over the full width. This type is also referred to as “commode sans traverse”, because the transverse support of the drawers is hidden behind the drawer fronts. The arched corner supports are decorated with gilt bronze fittings and sabots decorated with acanthus volutes and flower and leaf motifs. The fittings on the skirting, the drawer handles and the escutcheons are decorated with asymmetrical flower and leaf motifs and rocailles.
Both the front and the sides are veneered with marquetery in a geometrical braid pattern of ribbons with small rosettes and flowers. The marquetery decorations are framed with an amaranth ribbon.
As of 1760, Dutch cabinetmakers started to make veneered furniture “in the French manner”, imitating the imported French furniture of the day. Sometimes these objects were veneered with flowery decorations, but more often with geometrical diamond patterns framed in rare and exotic wood types.
This commode could very well have come from the workshop of Matthijs Horrix. This can, however, hardly be determined due to the fact that Horrix never signed or stamped his work. The great resemblance to furniture that can be attributed to Horrix with certainty, due to inventories of the Dutch Royal House and “Huis ten Donck”, affirms the kinship to the work of the master.
Matthijs Horrix (Lobberich 1735 – 1809 the Hague), is presumed to have come to the Hague in 1761 were he was admitted to the guild of cabinetmakers in 1764. That same year he was registered as citizen and married Elisabeth de la Fosse. The couple lived in the Spuistraat, also the address of the workshop. After 1770 the company developed into a comprehensive and versatile manufacturer of furniture. In 1771 Horrix was admitted to the “Pietersstoelgilde” and became master cabinet maker as well as “Spaanse stoelenmakers Baas”. Horrix’s assistant Willem Corbaz was registered with the Pietersstoelgilde as upholsterer in 1771, allowing the company to produce upholstered furniture as well. In fact, the company was able from that moment on to deliver any type of furniture needed to decorate a house. This was well appreciated by the Stadholder Court and its entourage, even more so because Horrix followed the latest fashion of Paris. This was reflected in the name of Horrix’s company: “In de Commode van Parijs” (In Parisian fashion).
When Matthijs Horrix dies in 1809, he is succeeded by his nephew Pieter Paulus Horrix (1767 – 1840) who had been working for his uncle since 1794.
R.J. Baarsen, “ ‘In de commode van Parijs tot Den Haag’, Matthijs Horrix
(1735-1809), een meubelmaker in Den Haag in de tweede helft van de
achttiende eeuw”, in Oud Holland 107, nr. 1, 1993.
Collection van Merksteijn, Switzerland
Kunsthandel J. Ruitenberg, Zwolle
Groeninx van Zoelen, the Hague, until 1978
Exposition of fine art 1909, the Hague