MAURICE-BERNARD EVALDE, MAITRE in 1765.
Evalde produced this pair of cabinets between 1765, the date of his maîtrise, and 1774, the year in which he left Paris to escape his creditors. In the inventory following his bankruptcy, the Duc de Fitz-James recalled 'Comme lui appartenant plusiers planches de morceaux de vieux lac qu'il a confié au s. Evalde à l'effet de
faire différents meubles au moyen de quoi il requiert la remise
d'iceux'. This proves that Evalde could decorate his pieces with
lacquer on request, though other examples of lacquer furniture by him
are not known.
The work of Evalde is rare; the death of his wife in 1772 seems to have led to a decline in his working life and his bankruptcy in 1774. In 1770 Evalde collaborated with Gouthière in executing the now lost jewel cabinet presented by Louis XV to Marie-Antoinette on her marriage to the Dauphin. A marquetry bonheur du jour by Evalde was sold at Christie's London, 4 December, 1969, lot 108.
DUCHESSE MARIA-CAROLINA DE BERRY (1798-1870)
The commodes were almost certainly in the collection of Maria Carolina de Berry, daughter of François I, King of the Two Sicilies (d. 1830), who in 1813 married Charles-Ferdinand, duc de Berry (d. 1820), son of Charles X, King of France from 1824-1830. They were housed at her Venetian palazzo, and passed by descent through her children from her second marriage in 1831 to Conte Don Ettore Carlo Lucchesi Palli, duca della Grazia (d. 1864).