Mathieu Criaerd was one of the pioneers along with Bernard Vanrisamburgh in introducing lacquer veneers into Louis XV furniture design during the 1730s and 40s. It is not a coincidence that both cabinetmakers worked for the dealer Thomas-Joachim Hébert (1687–1773) as such dealers, referred to as marchands-merciers, are credited with inventing the concept of cutting up panels from earlier Japanese lacquer cabinets and chests or Chinese screens and using them as veneers for case furniture, or alternatively applying European Vernis Martin to simulate Asian lacquer. Hébert was a regular supplier to the court and commissioned BVRB to manufacture what is believed to be the first lacquer commode for the Royal household, delivered to Queen Marie Leczinska at Fontainebleau in 1737 (Louvre). In the 1740s Criaerd worked for Hébert who commissioned what is arguably his most famous work, a blue and white lacquer commode for the bedroom of the King's mistress Mlle de Mailly at the château de Choisy (Louvre, ill. Alcouffe, Le Mobilier du musée du Louvre, Dijon 1993, Vol.I, no.43).
This latter piece has bronze mounts on the front in the form of a violin-shaped cartouche similar to that on the present lot, an arrangement seen frequently on Criaerd's abundant production of lacquer commodes, which appear to have been one of his specialties. Comparable works by Criaerd are illustrated in J. Nicolay, L'Art et la manière des maîtres ébénistes français au XVIIIe siècle (Paris 1976), p.124, fig. K; P. Kjellberg, Le Mobilier français du XVIIIe siècle (Paris 2002), p.252; and T. Wolvesperges, Le Meuble français en laque au XVIIIe siècle (Paris 2000), p.27, fig.9; p.44, fig.26; and p.301, fig.166.