This golden veneered work-table is designed with mosaiced 'medallion' top in 1770s French antique or 'Etruscan' fashion appropriate for a ladies bedroom apartment reception room. Wreathed by a flowered acanthus ribbon-guilloche border, its central compartment displays an oval libation-patera that evokes Venus with a flower framed in a pearled and scalloped cartouche.
A similar table, but lacking drawer, is at Badminton House, Gloucestershire, together with two pier tables, with related pearled and scalloped inlay and acanthus border. The latter furniture has been associated with payments made between 1778-1798 by the Dowager Duchess of Beaufort to the celebrated Soho firm of Messrs Mayhew and Ince (see L.Wood, Catalogue of Commodes: The Lady Lever Art Gallery, London, 1994, pp. 230 and 231, figs. 217-219).
The distinctive border pattern appears in ormolu on a commode attributed to Mayhew and Ince in the Lady Lever Art Gallery (no. 27, ibid., p. 226, fig. ii); inlaid in wood, as in the current example; on a pair of commodes attributed to Mayhew and Ince, sold anonymously, Christie's, London, 10 April 2003, lot 76 (£53,775). Furthermore, the same distinctive border can be identified on the frieze of a pair of pier tables in the Drawing Room at Broadlands, Hampshire, which were possibly supplied to Lord Palmerston by Mayhew and Ince (see H. Roberts, 'The Ince and Mayhew Connection - Furniture at Broadlands, Hampshire' Country Life, 29 January 1981, pp. 288-290, fig.1).