Maurice-Bernard Evald, maître in 1765.
With its distinctive marquetry of small-scaled ornaments framed by floral wreaths on a sycamore ground, this commode is very characteristic of the oeuvre of Evald. It belongs to a group of pieces which include a commode à vantaux sold from the the Alexander Collection, sold Christie's New York, 30 April 1999, lot 167 which is illustrated in P. Lemonnier 'Evalde. Un marqueteur original', L'Estampille - L'Objet d'Art, December 1991, p. 50. A further related secrétaire previously in the collection of the Earls of Morsley at Saltram, Devon, is illustrated in S. Eriksen, 'Early Neo-Classicism in France', London, 1974, fig. 140. A table decorated with his distinctive marquetry is illustrated in P. Kjellberg, 'Le Mobilier Français du XVIIIe siècle', Paris, 2002, p. 342.
Of German origin, like several of his fellow cabinet-makers, Evald moved to Paris in the early 1760s. Established in the Faubourg Saint-Antoine, he was soon patronized by the Royal family and the Court, and his distinguished clientèle included the duc d'Aumont, the princesse de Chimay, the comtesse de Périgord, the marquise de Bussy, the comte de Narbonne and the duc de Fitz-James.
In 1769, he was commissioned by François-Joseph Belanger, dessinateur des Menus-Plaisirs to execute a jewel cabinet presented by Louis XV to Marie-Antoinette on the occasion of her wedding to the future Louis XVI in 1770.