This superb commode, decorated with beautifull-chased ormolu mounts against a bold parquetry in striking kingwood veneers, is part of a small group of related commodes that are attributed to Etienne Doirat (d. 1732).
Its audacious form with splayed supports is characteristic of his late work - a phase described by J. -D. Augarde as ‘son ultime chef-d’oeuvre ‘- and is closely related to the similarly mounted and shaped commode stamped by Doirat which is now in the Getty Museum (J. -D. Augarde, 'Etienne Doirat, Menuisier en Ebène’, The J. Paul Getty Museum Journal, vol. 13, 1985, p. 45, fig. 4; no. 72.DA.66). Both commodes are enriched with the same central cartouche and large escutcheon decorated with dolphins, lambrequin and paw feet. The sculptural male and female figures à l'Indienne visible on these commodes seem to be a unique feature of his work. Another commode, now in a private collection, stamped by Doirat, sold at Sotheby’s, Monaco, 24 June 1984, lot 3135, of almost identical shape also shares identical features including the superb croisillon parquetry, the gadrooned framing, the scrolling foliate handles, the large rosettes to the sides and the shell-shaped feet.
Interestingly, the inventory following his death in 1732, published by J.-D. Augarde, op. cit., pp. 33-52, reveals an extensive quantity of ormolu mounts, including mounts listed as unchased. Therefore it seems that Doirat retained exclusive use of his models for mount, which reinforces the attribution of the present commode to the cabinet maker.
Etienne Doirat (1675-1732) was one of the most important and talented ébénistes of the Régence period. He is recorded in the Grand-Rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine at the time of his marriage in 1704. In 1726 he set up his workshop in the Cour de la Contrescarpe des Fossées de la Bastille, and in 1731 leased a store in the fashionable rue Saint-Honoré, one of Paris' foremost addresses for luxury retailers.
The stamps ‘MIGEON’ applied later to the present commode could probably be explained by the known link between the Doirat and Migeon families. On Doirat’s death in 1732 his son-in-law, Louis-Simon Painsun, took over the responsibility of the business and of his stock. His stamp ‘L.S.P.’ appears side by side with Migeon’s stamp on some pieces, which indicates he must have supplied furniture to Migeon, including pieces from his father-in-law’s stock.
In 1913, this commode was sold from the collection of the celebrated amateur Eugène Kraemer in Paris, when it was acquired by the American philanthropist and collector Ogden Mills (1857-1929) for his residence in Paris, 73 rue de Varenne. Inherited by his daughter, Beatrice, the celebrated heiress Countess of Granard (1883-1972), it has remained in the family until the present day.