Charles Cressent was a character unique in the world of cabinetmaking. He trained as a sculptor before marrying the widow of a cabinetmaker and taking over the running of his workshop. As a key artist of the eighteenth century, Cressent played a pivotal role in the birth of the Rococo style in France. The so-called « Monkey » commode is a fine example of Cressent’s inventive decorative style: note the unusual curved shape and the highly original bronze mounts.
Cressent decorated this commode using a marquetry veneer to create designs exploiting the natural grain of the wood. The herringbone pattern used here emphasizes the structure of the commode. As on other pieces, the veneer is executed in satin-wood and amaranth, which is darker in color and serves to further highlight the bronze mounts.