The form and decoration of this elegant commode follows that of the fashionable French 'Commode battants d'encoignures' of the 1760's and is related to a distinct group of commodes that consciously copied contemporary French examples. The most closely studied of the group is one which may have been commissioned for the Curzon Street house built by the architect Robert Adam (d. 1792) for the Hon. Henry Frederick Thynne in the early 1770s which is now in the Lady Lever Art Gallery (L. Wood, Catalogue of Commodes, London, 1994, pp.135 and 138). Lucy Wood suggests that the Thynne commode was made by an èmigrè craftsman, possibly French or French-trained, because of non-English idiosyncracies in the construction, notably a double thickness wood top, as if the maker was more used to making commodes with marble tops. Though the present commode does not have this characteristic, it does share several distinct elements, such as the use of sycamore as a ground wood, the seamless continuation of the shaped doors with no separate apron and finely executed marquetry incorporating Antique motifs. Another commode in this specific sub-group with the same elements is one formerly in the collection of Lord Wrottesley, sold Sotheby's, London, 28 June 1968, lot 162, and also detailed in Wood, (ibid, p. 138). Two other related commodes were sold anonymously, Christie's, London 4 July 2002, lot 15, and 10 April 2003, lot 64.
Though Pierre Langlois is perhaps the most well-known èmigrè cabinet-maker, there were others practicing in this distinctly French style, producing works individually or under the employ of other workshops. There was a close-knit group of Swedish èmigrès which included most notably Christopher Furlohg, a Paris-trained Swedish ebeniste, who was under the employ of John Linnell before establishing his own workshop around 1770. His compatriots included George Haupt, also possibly employed by Linnell, as well as Carl Gustav Martin, the first of the three men to exhibit his inlaid work at the Free Society of Artists in 1771. (C.Gilbert, Dictionary of English Furniture Makers, Leeds, 1986, p.324). At times, some of them, as well as other unknown èmigrès, worked for Furlohg in his thriving workshop which executed commissions for the Prince of Wales as well as Lord Howard of Audley End. These èmigrès also acted as independent subcontractors and executed individual marquetry panels that were incorporated in works by other cabinet-makers. As most work was unsigned, and with the added layer of possible subcontracting the marquetry elements, attributing work to an individual workshop or cabinet-maker remains elusive.