Roger van der Cruse, known as Lacroix, was born the son of the ouvrier libre François van der Cruse in 1728. Through his marriage to Jeanne Prograin in 1750, RVLC became the brother-in-law of the ébéniste Jean-François Oeben (maître in 1761).
The distinctive 'naif' marquetry of teapots, vessels, flower-filled vases and urns, inspired by the ornamental borders of Chinese coromandel lacquer screens, is characteristic of the work of the ébéniste and specialist marqueteur Charles Topino. Based in the rue Faubourg-Saint-Antoine, Topino - as his daybook reveals - is known to have supplied marquetry panels of this type for his confrères, the marchand-ébénistes, who then sold them on as their own (A. Pradère, Les Ebénistes Français de Louis XIV à la Revolution, Paris, 1989, p. 319). Roger Vandercruse did not make use of Topino's marquetry panels, but almost certainly executed these in his own atelier. Only purchases of ebony from Topino are listed in his Livre-Journal. His examples of 'naif' marquetry are indeed highly individual both in choice of objets and arrangement, and these are clearly his own invention (C. Roinet, Roger Vandercruse dit La Croix 1727-1799, Paris, 2000, p. 64).
This model of bonheur-du-jour was clearly developed by 1775, as the ébéniste du Roi Gilles Joubert (d. 1775) delivered 'Un petit secrétaire de bois de rose représentant des paniers de fleurs, fruits, theyers et tasses façon de la Chine...' to the Garde-Meuble for the use of the comte d'Artois at Compiègne (A. Pradère, op. cit., Paris, 1989, p. 320).
This bonheur-du-jour is illustrated in P.Kjellberg, Le Mobilier Français du XVIIIe Siècle, 1989, p.757 and in C.Roinet, Roger Vandercruse dit La Croix 1727-1799, Paris, 2000, p.64, ill 23.
Further related almost identical examples were sold Sotheby's London, 25 June 1982, lot 127 and Sotheby's Monaco, 1 July 1995, lot 133.