Thomas Brooks Dresser With Putto
I almost incorrectly used the term “cherub” to describe this winged male child that is represented in the crest of this dresser, but I remembered that I had wanted to do a little digging on the difference between the word cherub and another term that is sometimes used, putto. After a quick look, I learned that modern English language has blurred the lines between these two terms and apparently, incorrectly so.
The depiction of winged children in art is strictly putto (plural form – putti), while a cherub is a winged being mentioned several times in the bible and whose only similarity to putti is the presence of wings. According to Wikipedia, the cherubim (can be used instead of “cherubs” as it’s plural form) are:
a tetrad of living creatures, each having four faces: of a lion, an ox, an eagle, and a man. They are said to have the stature and hands of a man, the feet of a calf, and four wings. Two of the wings extended upward, meeting above and sustaining the throne of God; while the other two stretched downward and covered the creatures themselves
This 8 1/2 foot tall dresser attributed to Thomas Brooks has a very curious marking under the marble – “A. Roux”, as in Alexander Roux. The seller supposes that there may have been a collaboration between the two on this particular piece. I’m not sure what to think. Roux worked until 1881, so he certainly was around in the Renaissance Revival era to be working on this style of furniture. What are your thoughts on this curious marking? More details at the sale listing.