With its refined geometric forms, figured mahogany veneers and drawer arrangement, this elegant commode relates to the mahogany furniture executed by the celebrated Neuwied cabinet-maker David Roentgen (d. 1809) in the last quarter of the 18th century. Roentgen’s superbly-crafted furniture was prized in Germany and throughout Europe and had many followers such as Heinrich Gambs and Christian Meyer, who were based in St. Petersburg. The present commode relates very closely to a Schreibschrank made circa 1780-’90 by Heinrich Ludwig Hermann (master in 1759) in Mainz, one of Germany’s most important cabinet-making centres. This impressive piece is inlaid with figured woods and marquetry, further enhanced by various ormolu mounts. The rosettes to the drawers and trailing motifs to the legs that appear on the writing-cabinet, also appear on the present commode, which was executed a decade later, in Hermann’s very individual Zopfstil, deriving from Roentgen’s celebrated prototypes (H. Kreisel, G. Himmelheber, Die Kunst des Deutschen Moebels, vol. III, p. 59, fig 162).