This George III lady's bureau-dressing-table, with sliding tablet and rising tambour, derives from the 1750s Parisian 'secretaire cylindre'. While conceived as a window-pier table, to accompany a pier-glass, it is fitted with decorative golden handles for ease of movement. With its herm-tapered legs being inlaid with triumphal-arched tablets and further enriched with golden Roman foliage in ormolu, it relates to a small pier-table that has been dated to the mid-1770s (the latter, formerly in the possession of Messrs. Phillips of Hitchin, is illustrated in C. Musgrave's Adam and Hepplewhite Furniture, London, 1966, fig. 165).
The cylinder-bureau displays a sacred-urn medallion together with floral marquetry that has been associated with the court cabinet-maker John Cobb (d. 1778) of St. Martin's Lane (see related bureau-dressing-table illustrated L. Wood, Catalogue of Commodes, London, 1994, p.96, fig. 92). Furthermore, the side handles are a particular model favored by Vile and Cobb and can be found on a number of pieces atttributed to the cabinet-makers, including a pair of commodes from Ashburnham Place and sold Christie's, London, 14 June 2001, lot 140 (£421,750 including premium).
This attractive cylinder-bureau can also be attributed to the workshops of Mayhew and Ince. Lucy Wood presents the possibility that Vile and Cobb in the Blickling commission of 1762 and the Burghley commission of approximately the same date, may have subcontracted another firm such as Mayhew and Ince. (L. Wood, Catalogue of Commodes, London, 1994, pp. 43-53). This is further reinforced by the use of yew wood which is very characteristic of the work of Mayhew and Ince.