L. Wood, "Furniture for Lord Delaval,", Furniture History, 1993
A particularly fine quality George III mahogany serpentine commode attributable to Henry Hill of Marlborough. The crossbanded and moulded top above three long graduated drawers fitted with the original handles. The top drawer with a baize lined slide, flanked overall by projecting angles, above a shaped apron and out swept bracket feet. This fine commode executed in the French taste has a particularly fine colour and magnificent flame matched mahogany veneers.
This elegant commode is designed in the George III 'picturesque' fashion, This design evolved from 'French Commode Table' patterns in Thomas Chippendale's The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director, 1754 (pls. XLIII and XLV).
It has distinct stylistic and constructional features that appear in a group of commodes that are among both the documented and attributed work of Henry Hill.
Henry Hill of Marlborough was an important and reputable cabinet maker working from 1740-1778. He was based in the town of Marlborough in Wiltshire, a fashionable town between London and Bath, where he had a loyal clientele of wealthy land owners and aristocracy.
The fine, book matched veneers, distinctive scalloped apron and the pronounced angles, appear on several commodes in the Lady Lever Art Gallery attributed to Hill and discussed by L. Wood in Catalogue of Commodes, London, 1994, no. 4, pp. 64-73.
Many documented examples including this piece share identical constructional features such as the use of pine bottomed drawers, and the unusual continuation of the cockbeading on the drawer sides to cover the dovetails.
Research from L. Wood, "Furniture for Lord Delaval,", Furniture History. Show that many commissions Hill had come from Sir John, later Lord Delaval.
Delaval was unique in that his commissions were for his London house, and not a country estate in Wiltshire. Correspondence between Hill and Delaval includes three separate proposals, which outline specific options for commodes.
Further correspondence and banking records show that two proposals resulted in specific commissions for two commodes, as well as two wardrobes, delivered in November and December 1776.
A further example of Hills work was sold from the Patricia Kluge Sale, Sotheby’s 9th June 2010.