French Taste for English Eyes: Pierre Langlois

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Detail of the top of a commode by Pierre Langlois made for the 6th Earl of Coventry 
Metropolitan Museum of Art 

Pierre Langlois was a cabinet-maker of Huguenot origins who found favour in both the Royal Court and within the aristocracy. His name is now synonymous with the greatest English furniture, made in the French taste, during the second half of the 18th century.

Langlois was born in France and trained as a cabinetmaker, possibly with Jean-Francois Oeben.  Langlois made the move to London and opened a workshop in Tottenham Court Road with his son-in-law, Dominique Jean, who was a bronze-caster and gilder who made mounts for Langlois’ furniture.  His work can be seen in the Royal Collection at Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle today.

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Commode by Pierre Langlois made for the 6th Earl of Coventry 
Metropolitan Museum of Art

Throughout his career, Langlois completed important commissions for several notable clients, including John Russell, 4th Duke of Bedford, Horace Walpole, and George William, 6th Earl of Coventry.  Langlois supplied the commode pictured above to the Earl of Coventry for a bedroom at Croome Court.  There is a bill from Langlois dated July 20, 1764 which gives the price of the commode as 55 pounds.  It also indicates that the commode is intended to store clothing.  This magnificent commode is now in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum in New York.

59.127 Detail Top

Detail of the top of a commode by Pierre Langlois made for the 6th Earl of Coventry Metropolitan Museum of Art 

The serpentine bombe form of the commode along with its elegant floral marquetry is typical of Langlois’ production.  The elaborate mounts were possibly supplied by his son-in-law, Dominique Jean.

A Pair of George III Bombe Commodes attributed to Pierre Langlois Mackinnon Fine Furniture Collection

A Pair of George III Bombe Commodes attributed to Pierre Langlois
Mackinnon Fine Furniture Collection

We are delighted to share this highly important and very rare pair of George III ormolu-mounted padouk and rosewood bombé serpentine commodes attributed to Pierre Langlois.  Each commodes features a quarter veneered serpentine top above a shaped drawer fitted with a leather writing slide, which sits above a pair of doors, standing on splayed feet.  The doors open to reveal a shelved interior.  The commodes retain their original rococo ormolu handles and mounts.

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A Pair of George III Bombe Commodes attributed to Pierre Langlois
Mackinnon Fine Furniture Collection

These superlative commodes can be confidently attributed to Pierre Langlois as they relate closely to known documented pieces which exhibit the same overall design, similar accomplished veneer work and also the same ormolu mounts. The metalwork is attributed to Dominique Jean, Langlois’s son-in-law.

One thought on “French Taste for English Eyes: Pierre Langlois

  1. Pingback: It Runs in the Family: The Incredible Gillows Family of Cabinetmakers | The Source

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