These charming commodini, richly decorated with vignettes of playful chinoiserie figures within scrolling strapwork cartouches, typify the fascination Venetian craftsmen had for the products of the Orient, made available through their longstanding trade contacts with the East. Venice was one of the first centres in Europe to develop imitations of Eastern lacquer work, starting with smaller objects such as toilet boxes, but progressing throughout the 18th century to a wide variety of large scale 'lacquer' pieces, including mirrors, commodes and bureaux cabinets.
The sides, with colourful flower-filled urns, are particularly distinctive. Similar flowers can be seen on a Venetian tray-top table, illustrated in S. Levy, Il Mobile Veneziano del Settecento, Milan, 1964, vol. II, fig. LI, and on a series of Venetian trays illustrated in S. Levy, Lacche Veneziane Settecentesche, Milan, 1967, vol. II, figs. 468-73.