This elegant commode draws strongly on the neo-classical fashion of the late 18th century, popularised by designers such as Robert Adam and employed by the firm of Mayhew and Ince. A pair of related commodes attributed to Mayhew & Ince was supplied to Henry Temple, 2nd Viscount Palmerston (1739-1802), for the Book Room at Broadlands, Hampshire (Lucy Wood, Lady Lever - A Catalogue of Commodes, London, 1994, p. 214, pls. 202-4). There are many striking similarities between the Broadlands commodes and the present, slightly more restrained, commode: most notably the use of a similarly crossbanded harewood ground; the arrangement of bell-flowers in the marquetry; and the use of ebonised edge-mouldings. Furthermore, other commodes at Broadlands display almost identical ring-handles. Whilst invoices for this pair and other commodes have not been traced, contemporary accounts and letters survive demonstrating that the firm carried out extensive work for Lord Palmerston before 1797, at both Broadlands and 22 Hanover Square, London (G. Beard & C. Gilbert, The Dictionary of English Furniture Makers, 1660-1840, Leeds, 1986, p. 596).
A related commode with very similar ring-handles attributed to Mayhew and Ince was sold Christie's New York, 30 April 2007, lot 100.