Charles Topino, maîre in 1773
One of the commodes was in the collection of Miss Alice de Rothschild, almost certainly at Waddesdon Manor, and was sold by her at Christie's London, 23 November 1922, lot 116. Alice de Rothschild (1847-1922) was the daughter of Baron Anselm Solomon (1803-1874) and Charlotte Bettina de Rothschild (1805-1886) and contributed to the creation of the fabulous collection assembled by her brother Ferdinand James (1839-1898) at Waddesdon. Upon her death in 1922 Waddesdon Manor was left to her first cousin Edmond (1845-1934), and his son offered the building and its clebrated collections to the National Trust.
It is not clear when the Rothschild commode was joined by its near pair; however, by the mid 20th century they are recorded together in New York, first with the dealers French and Company, and then, as shown in the photograph reproduced here, in the collection of the publisher and philanthropist Mrs. Enid A. Haupt (1906-2005).
Related commodes by Topino of this distinct demi-lune shape though with slight variations in marquetry and mounts have appeared at auction. A pair from the collection of Mr. Mortimer Schiff was sold at Christie's London, 22 June 1938, lot 62, while a pair formerly in the collection of the 6th Earl of Rosebery sold at Sotheby's, Mentmore Towers, 19 May 1977, lot 467, and subsequently Sotheby's New York, 19 November 1993, lot 63 and again 22 May 1997, lot 245. A matched pair, almost identical in proportions as well as treatment of marquetry and mounts to one of the commodes offered here, formerly in the collection of Miss Broadway, was sold at Christie's London, 3 July 1986, lot 126. It is also illustrated in P. Kjellberg, Le Mobilier Français du XVIII Siècle, 1989, p. 845. Another matched pair sold more recently at Christie's Paris, 13 December 2006, lot 298 (Euro 314,000).