Canabas, of German origin, settled in the famed Parisian Faubourg Saint-Antoine in 1755 as an ouvrier libre before becoming maître in 1766.
Canabas specialised in small functional pieces devoid of any exaggerated ornamentation or unnecessary ormolu mounts, using the finest mahogany veneers to enhance the sheer elegance of his pieces.
He is known to have focused predominantly on practical tables or rafraichissoirs such as the present lot, which could be used for service, without the need for servants, and moved easily from one side of the dining-room to another, thereby conveying a unique versatility to his pieces.
Closely related rafraichissoirs by or attributed to Canabas sold at auction including one sold anonymously, Christie's, New York, 20 October 2006, lot 813 ($192,000 including premium), a further example sold from the Hammel collection, Tajan, Paris, 18 December 2001, lot 159 (EUR22,105 including premium) and another, sold anonymously, Sotheby's, London, 30 November 1990, lot 143 (£24,200 including premium).
A closely-related rafraichissoir is in the Musée Nissim de Camondo, Paris (ill. 'Musée Nissim de Camondo', 1973, n.271, p.65).