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Commode: M.6 & A-2022

Object information

Current Location: Gallery 1




Designer: Jeckyll, Thomas
Maker: Holland and Son (Possibly)




Commode (bedside cabinet), comprising an upper section of square panelled cabinet of walnut with walnut and ebony moulding with hinged door with brass handle and (removeable) moulded top covered in leather (A); the lower section formed of panels of lattice work with four legs joined by stretchers, framed by mouldings with incised decoration that runs along the stretchers and rails of the lattice work.


History note: Commissioned by Alexander 'Aleco' Ionides (1840-98) in c. 1975 on the occasion of his marriage to Isabella Sechiari. It is believed that the commode remained in 1 Holland Park until 1908, when Isabella sold the house. The commode may have passed by descent to her daughter, Penelope, and her husband, Robert Hotchkiss, Paisley, Scotland (1913-46). Throughout most of the twentieth century, the whereabouts of the commode is unknown. Private collection, Yorkshire, 2021. Sold David Duggleby Auctioneers, 14 August 2021, lot 1171 (described as a 'twentieth century oriental cabinet'). With Oscar Graf Gallery, where purchased by the Museum.

Legal notes

Purchased with the Colin Granville Elliot Legacy Fund

Measurements and weight

Height: 76 cm

Place(s) associated

  • London ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bought (2022-07-06) by Oscar Graf Gallery


Production date: circa AD 1875


This commode was designed by the architect Thomas Jeckyll (1827–81) for the bedrooms of 1 Holland Park, London. In 1870-72, Jeckyll had been commissioned by the Greek financier and collector Alexander Constantine Ionides to design a new wing for the house. In 1875, Ionides gave the house to his son, Aleco, on his marriage to Isabella Sechiari. On this occasion, Aleco commissioned a new suite of bedroom furniture (including this commode and a matching commode and desk now in the V&A) from Jeckyll, with whom he had long been friendly in a group that included Whistler and George du Maurier. The suite, echoing the design of Chinese furniture, is thought to have been made by favoured cabinet-makers, William Holland and Sons. Just a few years later, 1 Holland Park underwent further renovations, led by Stephen Webb and William Morris, making it one of the best-known late-nineteenth century interiors.

Components of the work

Moulding composed of ebony
Part composed of walnut
Handle composed of brass (alloy)
Top composed of leather

References and bibliographic entries

Identification numbers

Accession number: M.6 & A-2022
Primary reference Number: 311376
Object entry form: 1564
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Monday 18 July 2022 Updated: Monday 1 August 2022 Last processed: Tuesday 13 June 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

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The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Commode" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-04-13 16:26:32

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{{cite web|url= |title=Commode |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-04-13 16:26:32|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

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