National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of Chest of Drawers (commode) Joseph Baumhauer (cabinetmaker)
German, active c. 1749 - 1772
Chest of Drawers (commode), probably between 1767 and 1772 but possibly a decade earlier
oak veneered with tulipwood, kingwood, casuarina, and purplewood; gilded bronze mounts; breccia marble top
overall: 84 x 124.5 x 57 cm (33 1/16 x 49 x 22 7/16 in.)
Widener Collection
1942.9.412
On View
From the Tour: Production of French Decorative Arts in the 1700s
Object 3 of 5

This chest of drawers with bombé (convex) surfaces veneered in floral sprays has gilt-bronze mounts of fanciful foliage, which cunningly disguise the upper and lower drawer handles.

The oak body is stamped with the name "Joseph," the mark of a cabinetmaker of German birth, Joseph Baumhauer. He may have used his first name to escape prejudices in Paris against foreign-born craftsmen. Joseph was among the most prolific and versatile of rococo cabinetmakers. His studio held eight workbenches, suggesting he employed at least that many assistants.

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