The commode, with its 'picturesque' ormolu-enrichments of Roman acanthus accompanied by Apollo laurel-wreaths, relates to 'French Commode Table' patterns illustrated in Thomas Chippendale's The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Directors, published between 1754 and 62. Its serpentined top, corresponding to Chippendale's pattern of 1760 (vol. III, pl. LXX) is ribbon-banded and inlaid with a trellised and tablet-centred parquetry of golden Indian padouk, whose exotically-figured medallions enrich the commode façade and are framed by the swagged lambrequin of its richly-fretted apron. The commode can be attributed to John Cobb of St. Martin's Lane (d.1778), cabinet-maker to King George III, and may have provided the prototype for his commode invoiced in 1766 to James West of Alscot Park, Warwickshire as an 'extra fine wood Commode chest of drawers with large handsome wrought furniture, good brass locks, etc, £16'. (H. Honour, Cabinet Makers and Furniture Designers, London, 1972, p. 112).
There is a related commode in the Metropolitan Museum of Art that was previously in the collection of Earl Howe, Penn House, Buckinghamshire and was sold in these Rooms, 13 June 1928, lot 30 (W. Rieder, 'Furniture', Highlights of the Untermyer Collection of English and Continental Decorative Arts, New York, 1977, p. 91, no. 165). There is a further closely related group of commodes all very similar to the present lot: one sold anonymously in these Rooms, 21 May 1970, lot 110, one sold from the collection of the late Sir James Williams-Drummond of Hawthornden, Bt., Sotheby's London, 5 March 1971, lot 165 and one formerly in the collection of Captain Donald MacBarnet of Ballochroan, Kingussie (d.1840), sold by a descendant, Sotheby's London, 5 July 1996, lot 61.