One of the great Parisian cabinet makers, Frédéric Schmit specialized in producing high quality furnishings and meubles de fantaisie. Throughout his career he appears to have worked in the centre of the furniture making district, the Faubourg St Antoine. He was established at 9 rue de Charonne from 1856; in 1870 the company provisionally became Schmit, Alavoine et Piollet, at 9 and 24 rue de Charonne; in 1874, it became Schmit et Piollet at 20 rue de Charonne, and at 22 from 1876. The business became known as Schmit Successeur around 1888. He received Gold Medals at the 1878 and 1889 Exhibitions in Paris, and was always considered to make pieces of the finest quality.
A virtually identical cabinet, with marquetry panels, was sold at Sotheby's, London, 24 May 1996, lot 266.