Pietro Piffetti ( 1701 - 1777 )
The Pietro Piffetti bombe‘ commode. Now in the collection of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
A highly important Turinese commode executed around 1760 by the Savoy Royal Cabinet Maker (Ebanista di Sua Maestà), for his personal collection, with ormolu mounted lion mask handles attributed to Francesco Ladatte (1706-1787) probably originally collocated in Piffetti’s apartment at the first floor of the Turin Royal University Palace(thanks to Dr.Roberto Antonetto for the exact location in the attached map). The most similar Piffetti's documented designed wood work is a related writing desk exhibited in 1937 at Palazzo Carignano http://mostrabarocco1937.fondazione1563.it/page_dtl.php?id=716 (R.Antonetto,1985, p.338-339,f.507-508)
Our commode was the third (N.3) of fourteen works of art by Piffetti in a lottery that took place in November 1779 in Turin, following his death. It was originally part of a pair. In the 1779 lottery there were also the fantastic mother of pearl casket on stand in Victoria and Albert Museum (n.W.34-1946. Please also see attached screenshots of Museum webpages about it that since postwar it is displayed in room 3 at V&A South Kensington1600-1815 Europe), it was the 14th and the last lot of the same lottery. As probably includes the little commode (also part of a pair), for sure a music table now in a private collection in Genoa and may be the big cabinet now in Accorsi Museum (they were nos. 14,12, 4 and 6 in the lottery). Burr walnut, boxwood and ebony marquetry with gilt bronze mounts.
Catalogue on line:
Height: 32,6 in. (83 cm)
Width: 49,2 in. (125 cm)
Depth: 22,4 in. (57 cm)
Related link on Tefaf Museum Stories: