Joseph Gegenbach called Canabas, of German origin, settled in the famed Parisian Faubourg Saint-Antoine in 1755 and became maître in 1766. He specialised in small functional pieces devoid of any exaggerated ornamentation or ormolu mounts, using the finest mahogany timbers. He is known to have focused predominantly on practical tables or rafraîchissoirs such as the present lot, which could be used for service and moved easily in the dining-room, thereby conveying a unique versatility to his pieces.
Various closely related rafraîchissoirs by or attributed to Canabas sold at auction include one sold at Christie's New York, 20 October 2006, lot 813 ($192,000 including premium). A closely-related rafraîchissoir is in the Musée Nissim de Camondo, Paris (ill. 'Muse Nissim de Camondo', 1973, n. 271, p. 65).