Produced in Cremona, Lombardy, this commode is signed by Gaetano Corvi and dated 1781. This cabinet maker seems to be unrecorded, however, as the label indicates, it can be assumed that his atelier was located near the church of San Domenico. From the 16th century, Cremona was renowned as a centre of musical instrument manufacture, counting the Amati family, a dynasty of violin producers, as well as Guarneri and the celebrated Antonio Stradivari (1644-1737) among its most distinguished citizens. In 1680 Stradivari settled in the Piazza San Domenico and his fame as an instrument-maker was quickly established.
This commode is somewhat related to the bombé-shaped marquetry and parquetry commodes of the early production of the master of Italian cabinet-making of the second half of the 18th century, Giuseppe Maggiolini. Its exaggerated rococo bombé shape is contrasted by the neoclassical style of the marquetry and parquetry. Musical instruments and musical trophies were often depicted in marquetry, and related marquetry include a top illustrated in E. Colle, Il Mobile Rococò in Italia, Milano, 2003, p. 396, and for a later neoclassical interpretation see the inlaid top of a centre table signed by Abbiati Mandello (illustrated in C. Alberici, Il Mobile Lombardo, Milan, 1969, p. 192-193).