Harry Payne Bingham, whose ancestor Charles Bingham was a Cleveland businessman, was a noted collector and a significant philanthropist. Among numerous other roles he was a trusteee of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, to whom he bequeathed two paintings by Goya and other works of art. This commode was subsequently acquired by Mr & Mrs Charles B. Wrightsman, who in the post-war years created one of the most important collections of furniture and decorations, to rank alongside many a national collection. The catalogue of their collection, published in 1966 by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, details items with provenance from many great earlier generations of collectors, including the fourth Marquess of Hertford; Viscount Leverhulme; Baron Maurice de Rothschild and the Earl of Rosebery. Interestingly the Wrightsman catalogue includes a second, similar commode, listed consecutively (pp. 162-163) bearing the same provenance as the present lot. Much of the collection was gifted to the Metropolitan Museum and furnishes the museum's Wrightsman Galleries, while some was dispersed in sales in 1984.
Pierre Fléchy, maître in 1756, was one of the many ébénistes working in the busy environs of the rue du Faubourg-Saint-Antoine. Fléchy specialised in marquetry of large flowers in bois-clair which covered the entire surface of commodes, secretaires and bureaux, all beautifully constructed and of the first quality.