A Master of Marquetry

The commode having three drawers, the first set in the frieze, mounted with panels of ormolu interlace and rosettes above the remaining two drawers.  These doors are inlaid with flower heads and interlacing within a geometrical pattern and set within well-chiselled ormolu frames; an oval medallion containing a marquetry basket of flowers straddles across both drawers. The shaped apron, overlaid with ormolu scrolling acanthus leaf motif and supported on tapering legs decorated with simulated fluting with ormolu toupee feet.  The commode is marked in white paint with the inventory no. from French and Co. 2964 and stamped twice on the top left, and top right, R.Lacroix et JME.


Jacques Seligmann, Paris.

Sale Parke-Bernet, (Sotheby’s NY), 10th April 1942, lot. 184.

Collection of Baron Cassel Von Doorn, 30th May 1956, lot.119 ( 1.500,000 F ) .

Private collection by descent since 1956.


Sumptious Sculptural Gilt Mounts



Item Particulars

Width: 97.5 38
Depth: 56 22
Height: 89.5 35

Roger Vandercruse Lacroix

Roger Vandercruse Lacroix belonged to the most important furniture-making dynasty of the 1770s. The son of an independent ébéniste, he was related through marriage to some of the most successful ébénistes of his day, including Jean-François Oeben, Jean-Henri Riesener, and Simon Oeben. He became a master in 1755 and took over his father's workshop. At the time of his marriage his business was still a modest one; while his wife brought a dowry of 1,350 livres in cash, clothes, and linen to the marriage, he brought only 800 livres.

From 1769 to 1774, Vandercruse Lacroix supplied furniture to the Garde-Meuble de la Couronne (Royal Furniture Warehouse) and stamped his works R.V.L.C. His pieces were admired for their marquetry in geometric and floral patterns made of tulipwood, amaranth, and kingwood. His business prospered as the duc d'Orléans and Madame du Barry joined his list of clients. Vandercruse Lacroix also held several important positions in his guild. He retired from business during the French Revolution and died in 1799.

Cassel Van Doorn:

Baron Jean-Germain Cassel Van Doorn (1882-1953) was a rich Belgium banker living in Brussels, Paris, Cannes and New Jersey.  Essentially a collector of old masters, furniture, pictures and objects d’arts decorated his houses on both sides of the Atlantic.  Several of his paintings were confiscated by the German army from his villa in Cannes in 1944, although most of them were returned after the war.  On his death his collections formed part of many sales, one in Brussels on 20 and 21st November 1953, seven others in Paris in 1954 and at least one other in 1955 at Parke-Bernet in NY.  Cassel Van Doorn probably bought this commode in 1942 in NY and his widow sold it in 1956 in Paris and bought by the parents of its previous owners.