These bronze mounts were made to adorn the drawer hardware of a chest of drawers, or commode. The example above was discovered in a feature covering the former stables of a house used by the commissaire ordonnateur (similar to an intendant) in Louisbourg on Cape Breton Island in Nova Scotia. The one below was also found at Louisbourg on another property. Both were made in France. Although metropolitan guild ordinances limited the production of bronze ornaments to a category of artisans known as a fondeurs-ciseleurs, various furniture craftsmen occasionally dabbled in casting and gilding bronze, although not without impunity. For example, Parisian cabinetmaker Charles Cressent was cited several times for breaching this restriction.
I had the chance to study this piece last summer at the Sulpician Seminary in Montréal. It did not appear that any new hardware had been added to the commode. It is a great piece and one of the few that can be definitively linked to a colonial official in New France.