Jean Nicolay. "L'Art et la Manière des Maîtres Ebénistes Français au XVIIIè siècle, 1956 p. 414, illustrating a similar lacquered commode by François Rübestück. Pierre Kjellberg, "Le Mobilier Français du XVIIIe Siècle", 1998, p. 746, pl. A, illustrating another Rübestück commode of almost identical shape and very similar polychrome and black lacquer decoration and mounts.
A wonderful Louis XV gilt bronze mounted polychrome and black vernis Européen bombé commode by François Rübestück, stamped RUBESTUCK, decorated overall in the Chinese manner with various hilly landscapes with figures on land or in a boat, houses, foliage and various flowering trees, the serpentine shaped white marble top above two drawers with ornate rocaille handles and escutcheons framed by a red painted border and an ornate foliate rocaille cast border issuing a heavily scrolled mount on the shaped apron, the sides with conforming lacquered decoration and cast border, the foliate scrolled rocaille angle mounts continuing down the cabriole legs terminating in foliate scrolled sabots
Paris, date circa 1760-70
Height: 84 cm, length 130 cm, width 62 cm
During the earlier stages in his short career François Rübestück (b. circa 1722 d. 1785) specialised in producing extremely fine commodes, secrétaires and bureau plats. Most of his commodes and secrétaires in the Louis XV and Transitional styles tended to be decorated with sumptuous vernis Européen in imitation of Chinese lacquer work. As here these pieces were lavishly decorated with Chinese motifs including figures within landscapes, river scenes with bridges, mountains, pagodas and other architectural buildings as well as a range of vegetation. The present work, sold in 1939 is among his finest examples and encapsulates the continuing taste during the mid eighteenth century for Chinoiserie and rocaille decoration. Painted in polychrome on a black lacquer ground it compares with many other Rübestück pieces at this period. In addition to this colour scheme this highly talented ébéniste also produced equally stunning yellow lacquer pieces. Nearly all his Louis XV style pieces were finely ornamented with finely cast foliate frames, which as here ran parallel to a lacquer painted frame.
Other commodes bearing Rübestück's stamp include a Louis XV Transitional Louis XVI commode in the Huntington Collection San Marino California (from the Cronier collection, sold Paris 1905). However the latter decorated with three gilt bronze framed oval marquetry medallions is extremely similar to pieces by the ébéniste Pierre-Antoine Foullet (b. circa 1732, maître 1765), as for example illustrated in Kjellberg, ibid, pp. 324-5. Pierre Kjellberg suggests that either Rübestück restored the piece and added his own stamp or made a direct copy of Foullet's model.