This pier table commode, intended to accompany a mirror in a bedroom-appartment window-pier, is conceived in the George III 'Roman' fashion promoted by the court architect Robert Adam (d. 1792). Its top has projecting 'tablet' or 'architectural' cut-corners, while its frame is embellished with 'Apollo' sunflowered paterae and antique-flutes in the manner of a Roman tripod. More paterae embellish the angles of its stepped plinth, and reed framed drawers of finely-figured mahogany are enriched with omolu handles in the French 'picturesque' fashion.
The use of ebonised borders is a recurrent feature of Mayhew & Ince's work and appears on the related commode almost certainly supplied to George Finch, 4th Earl of Nottingham and 9th Earl of Winchilsea (1752-1826) for Burley-on-the-Hill, Rutland (sold by E.R. Hanbury, Esq. Christie's London, 6 July 1989, lot 147 and re-offered in the Sainsbury Collection as lot 250). The Burley commode provides the basis for a number of attributions of related commodes with rounded fluted angles headed by paterae, such as a commode sold anonymously in these rooms, 4 July, 1996, lot 389.
The drawer handles, with escutcheon-plates of fretted ribbon-scrolls wrapped by Roman acanthus, were adopted in the early 1760s by leading cabinet-makers including Thomas Chippendale of St. Martin's Lane (C. Gilbert, The Life and Work of Thomas Chippendale, London, 1987, vol. II, figs. 226 and 270). These same handles were employed by Chippendale on the desk supplied to William, 5th Earl of Dumfries at Dumfries House in May 1759 (Christie's house sale catalogue, 12 & 13 July 2007, lot 30).