This cabinet is closely related to a splendid Japanese lacquer-mounted commode by Martin Carlin delivered in 1785 to Madame Victoire, daughter of Louis XV, for her use in the grand cabinet at the Château de Bellevue and today in the collections of the Louvre (OA 5498). This commode was part of a larger suite of lacquer furniture the princess received at Bellevue including a console table, a writing table, an occasional table and a pair of encoignures, most of which are also in the collections of the Louvre.
Lacquer-mounted furniture was very fashionable in the late 18th century. Parisian dealers, the marchands-merciers, specialized in the creation of furniture and objets d’art for a sophisticated clientele which incorporated elaborate Japanese and Chinese lacquer panels. Often appropriated from screens and boxes, the rich lacquer panels were then mounted onto furniture constructed in France and enriched with splendid gilt bronze mounts. The Carlin commode, delivered to the princess by the marchands-merciers, the Darnault brothers, was clearly a prized possession even after the fall of the Ancien Régime, as it is recorded in Napoleon’s apartments at the Palais de Tuileries and the Château de Fontainebleau. In the 19th century, lacquer-mounted furniture enjoyed a revival and the leading makers produced elaborate replicas of some of the most famed pieces from the end of the preceding century. A related pair of lacquer commodes, circa 1870, were in the collection of Baron Mayer de Rothschild or his daughter, Hannah, later Countess of Rosebery at Mentmore, Buckinghamshire, and sold from the property, Sotheby's, 18 May 1977, lot 57. Another similar commode by Alfred-Emmanuel-Louis Beurdeley was sold Sotheby’s, New York, 14-15 April 2008, lot 404 ($277,000).