Commode, noun


Ask most anyone outside the world of antiques and collectibles to define commode, and they'll instantly say toilet. And they'd be right. But a commode in the antique sense is a low, lidded cabinet, often modest in size and highly ornamental, containing drawers or shelves and housing a chamber pot for use in the bathroom. In other words, it was fancy bathroom furniture for well-to-do’s from times gone by. Oh, and a commode can also be an elaborate headdress, decorated with lace and ribbons, worn atop the head by women in the late 17th/early 18th century.

The gorgeous commode you see here is a south German Baroque mixed wood example from the 18th century, with modified serpentine form and geometric inlay. It measures 32 inches in height by 48 inches wide and was offered at a two-day estates auction held Oct. 12-13, 2016 by Litchfield County Auctions in Litchfield, Connecticut. The commode was expected to sell for a modest $1,000-$1,500. The Oct. 12 session featured Asian objects, fine art and framing, silver, jewelry and coins. The Oct. 13 session had furniture, decorative arts, militaria and books.