Despite its relatively early known provenance it has proven difficult to establish an exact origin for the cabinet section of this amazing piece of furniture. Extensive parts of the cabinet, both constructional and decorative, including the pictorial marquetry panels are invariably associated with the work of David Roentgen (1743-1807). The two oval panels for example are identical to those on a commode by Roentgen in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, (inv. W51.1948), illustrated in H. Huth, Roentgen Furniture, London, 1974, no. 176-178. Furthermore, the drawer fronts of the same commode are fitted with identical ormolu mounts to those found on the frieze of this lot, and it shows the same mille-raie panels and fluted divisions. A further indication for an origin in Roentgen's Neuwied workshop is the particular cross-grained and small-panelled construction of all veneered and structural elements.
It seems almost certain that it was produced in Roentgen's workshop, however, it was possibly originally destined for a chest of drawers and later adapted to its present configuration, a theory Baulez establishes in his article. He believes this cabinet was made up from elements of a commode made by David Roentgen for Louis XVI and draws on the full description of that piece made when it was transferred to Paris on 5 January 1792.
Roentgen, on his many trips to Paris, comissioned the best artists and bronziers to supply to his workshop. The bronzier François Rémond (1747-1812, maître-doreur in 1774), from whom Roentgen obtained some of the best ormolu mounts, was a collaborator on a number of major pieces, several of which are illustrated by Baulez, op. cit. and also well documented in Rémond's own day books.
Since the cabinet, in its present configuration, was sold in an 1895 Beurdeley sale, it is likely that the stand was made by the celebrated 19th Century furniture maker.
Louis-Auguste-Alfred Beurdeley (1808-1882) was the son of a Parisian furniture maker and specialised in 18th Century style and Renaissance Revival furniture. His son Alfred-Emmanuel-Louis (1847-1919) took over the business in 1875, developing it even further, concentrating on reproduction 18th Century style furniture and luxurious articles, and was pre-eminent among the Parisian ébénistes and bronziers. He exhibited at the International Exhibitions, such as Paris in 1878 and Amsterdam in 1883, and was awarded the Gold Medal at the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1889.