This multi-purpose table, with inlaid top concealing a rising 'harlequin' writing-desk 'cartonnier' nest-of-drawers, relates to a dressing-table in the manner of Thomas Sheraton (d.1806) that was first displayed in the South Kensington Museum in 1866, and illustrated in colour in 1893 as the frontispiece to Frederick Litchfield's Illustrated History of Furniture (M. Tomlin, Catalogue of Adam Period Furniture, London, 1982, U/11). Sheraton's name is also associated with a related satinwood-inlaid table that is labeled as having been 'presented by him to Richard William Penn, 1st Earl Howe' (Anonymous sale, Christie's London, 20 September 2001, lot 20). In the early 19th century, the firm of George Seddon took out a patent for a related spring operated 'harlequin' fitment for a Pembroke table (A. Heal, London Furniture-Makers, 1953 p.260, fig. 47).