Royal Ambitions: The Henry Dasson Boulle Commode

  • November 16, 2011 08:12

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Henry Dasson based this commode upon the famous pair Boulle created for Louis XIV.
M.S. Rau Antiques, New Orleans
Dasson was a gifted doré bronze artist. These hand-chased winged maidens attest to that fact.
M.S. Rau Antiques, New Orleans

One of the missions of M.S. Rau Antiques is to seek out and provide our clients with the absolute finest antiques, works of art and jewelry...something we like to call The Best of The Best. To come across pieces that embody the key elements of beauty, rarity and history is what really excites us.

This opulent Royal Commode by Henry Dasson is just such an antique. In terms of rarity and history, it is distinguished by not just one, but two of the most important craftsmen, or ébénistes, to have ever lived. The great Henry Dasson based its design on a pair of commodes André Charles Boulle created for Louis XIV bedchamber at Versailles' Grand Trianon apartment in 1708. The commodes beauty radiates through the most resplendent, hand chased doré bronze work and Boulle marquetry we have seen. This commode truly has it all.

Henry Dasson is ranked among the most important ébénistes, or cabinetmakers, of the 19th century. He made a name for himself in Paris early in his career by creating furnishings and objets d'art inspired by the Louis XIV, Louis XV and Louis XVI styles. His reputation and outstanding craftsmanship garnered him favor with the most important figures in the French aristocracy, namely the Empress Eugenie. Her tastes were largely responsible for the resurgence of the Baroque, and when she saw his work, she immediately appointed Dasson as her personal cabinetmaker.

Incredibly few furnishings are both signed by Dasson and dated, making this commode even more exceptional.
M.S. Rau Antiques, New Orleans

What makes Dasson so extraordinary was that he not only mastered the designs of his predecessors, including the famed Boulle, but he was able to vastly improve upon the methods in which those 17th and 18th century furnishings were created. Using more sophisticated tools, Dasson became renowned for his magnificent and technically superior doré bronze work, to which the present commode can attest.

Finding the most outstanding pieces for our gallery, no matter how cliché it may sound, it's by far the most rewarding aspect of what we do at M.S. Rau Antiques. There is no greater feeling of satisfaction than the reactions of our clients when we present these magnificent works to them. Their excitement becomes ours, and we know at the end of the day, we've not only met, but we have surpassed their every expectation. Now that's truly the best of the best. 

To view M.S. Rau Antiques incredible selection of French furniture, click here.


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Beauty, Rarity, History: The M.S. Rau Blog

A New Orleans institution for over 100 years, M.S. Rau is among the premier fine art and antiques galleries in the world. Located in the heart of the French Quarter, our gallery overflows with incredible antiques by names including Tiffany & Co., Paul Revere and Fabergé. Our unparalleled selection of important, original paintings and sculpture spans the 16th through the 21st century, including legendary artists such as Brueghel, Monet and Rockwell, while our diverse selection of exquisite jewels, including rare colored diamonds, Kashmir sapphires and Burma rubies is without equal.

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