Johannes Klinkerfuss (1770 - 1831) was born near Frankfurt and started his apprenticeship with his father Philip (d. 1798) at the age of 14. He finished his education in 1788 and on his ensuing travels came to work for David Roentgen in Neuwied. In this famous workshop he learnt not only cabinet-making, but also the designing and drawing of furniture. He was so highly regarded by Roentgen that he wanted Klinkerfuss to set up a branch of the Roentgen business in Petersburg, a plan that was spoilt by the war between France and the German states. Roentgen recommended Klinkerfuss to Herzogin Dorothee Sophie of Wrttemberg and she employed him in May 1793. He remained in the service of the house until 1812 when Klinkerfuss felt that the bureaucratic burdens became too great. He remained in Stuttgart but founded his own workshop.
The House Wrttemberg during Johann Klinkerfuss' Period
Dorothee Sophie, niece of Fredrick the Great of Prussia was the wife of Friedrich Eugen Herzog of Wrttemberg. Friedrich Eugen and his wife had initially lived in Mmpelgard where they had created a small centre for art with several pieces of furniture by Roentgen, many of which were later transferred to Stuttgart. They had to leave that city in 1791 because of the effects of the French Revolution and were only able to settle in 1792, when he received the 'Gouvernement of Ansbach Bayreuth'. Because they had not been able to bring many of their original possessions they needed new furniture made for which they hired Johannes Klinkerfuss. Much of that furniture at Schloss Fantasie disappeared in the 19th Century when the castle was renovated. In 1795 Friedrich Eugen became regent of Wrttemberg and moved to Stuttgart and Schloss Hohenheim. The Duke hired Nikolaus Friedrich Thouret (1766 - 1845), as a designer, to redecorate many of his castles, such as Hohenheim, Favorite, Monrepos, Neues Schloss Stuttgart and Ludwigslust. Many of the projects were left unfinished when the Duke died in 1797. His wife died one year later and their furniture was moved to Ludwigsburg and Monrepos into the rooms of Herzog Friedrich II (1754 - 1816). Friedrich, who had travelled widely with his sister Maria Feodorovna and her husband Paul of Russia, settled in Ludwigsburg with his wife Charlotte Mathilde, Crown Princess of Great Britain. He embarked on a wide rebuilding of the castle that lasted from 1799 to 1804. Klinkerfuss supplied much of the furniture and continued in their service until 1812.
King Wilhelm I (1781 - 1848), upon taking over from his father, altered the court and restructured its organisation. He decided to refurnish Ludwigsburg and many of the origninal suites of furniture were sold off or relocated to new palaces that he built, such as Schloss Weil near Esslingen, Schloss Rosenstein and the Wilhelmspalast. It is possible that this comode was sold in these years.
(W. Wiese, Johannes Klinkerfuss, Sigmaringen, 1988)