This impressive commode was most certainly executed by Philippe Pasquier (d. 1783) received maître in 1760. Little is known about this ébéniste who is recorded as having worked predominantly for the Prince de Condé. Two closely related secrétaires, one of which acquired by George IV for Carlton House, the other stamped by Pasquier and reputedly supplied to Madame du Barry, testify of the importance of the ébéniste's commissions.
PASQUIER'S SECRéTAIRE AT WINDSOR CASTLE
The distinctive use to the frieze of entrelacs inset with laurel-wreathed floral rosettes, the application of striking panels of burr yew throughout, and acanthus-wrapped feet with gadrooned collars are all elements which are characteristic of the oeuvre of the ébéniste. Such distinguishable features, along with virtually identical framing mounts, rosette paterae and fluted pilasters can be found on a porcelain-mounted burr-yew secrétaire acquired by George IV in 1805, formerly at Carlton House (sent to Morel & Seddon in 1827) and now in the Boudoir at Windsor Castle (ill. in H. Roberts, For the King's Pleasure, the Furnishing and Decoration of George IV's apartments at Windsor Castle, London, 2001, p.217, fig. 256).
A COMMISSION FROM MADAME DU BARRY
Also highly reminiscent of the ébéniste's production, is another secrétaire c.1775-80 reputedly supplied by Pasquier to Madame du Barry, maîtresse en titre of Louis XV. The latter secrétaire also formed part of the collections of the tenth Duke of Hamilton at Hamilton Palace (until sold at Christie's, 20 June 1882, lot 300), of J.Pierpont Morgan and Samuel H. Kress (ill. C. Packer, Paris Furniture, Newport, 1956, fig. 138, and Decorative Art from the Samuel H. Kress Collection at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, 1964, pp.95-100, no. 16, figs 82-86). Further embellished with gouache trompe l'oeil paintings, the latter secrétaire features virtually identical gadrooned collared acanthus-wrapped toupie feet and richly-figured burr yew panels which, as on the present lot, create a striking contrast against the ebony veneers.
FURTHER RECORDED EXAMPLES BY PASQUIER
The use by Pasquier of burr panels set against an ebony or an amaranth ground can be found on several related examples by the ébéniste, among which a commode formerly in the Charles de Bestegui collection at the Palazzo Labia in Venice, a further commode illustrated in P. Kjellberg, Le Mobilier Français du XVIIIè Siècle, Paris, 1998, p.635, and a third example veneered with burr-maple panels on a mahogany ground, sold Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 14 December 1988, lot 177. Kjellberg discusses further recorded examples by Pasquier sold at auction, which include an ivory-inlaid marquetry commode sold Hôtel Drouot, Paris, 19 June 1954 and a commode à double ressaut with a marquetry de quadrillage à fleurons sold Christie's, New York, 21 November 1984, lot 202.