With its exquisite decoration of Karelian birch and other precious woods, ceder drawer-linings and refined mounts, this cabinet is among the finest examples of Russian cabinet-making around 1800. This cabinet is close to the work of the cabinet-maker Heinrich Gambs (1765-1831), who trained under David Roentgen and came to St. Petersburg in 1789. It relates to the furniture Gambs supplied to Pavlovsk in the early 19th Century , when Andrei Voronikhin (1760-1814) was rebuilding the palace (H. Stuchley, Die Familie Gambs, Weltkunst 11 (1995), p. 2957.
Gambs' earliest and most monumental piece of furniture supplied to the Imperial Court was a cylinder-bureau, which he executed in 1795. Both in shape and in design, it closely resembles Roentgen's cylinder-bureau which he sold to Catherine the Great in 1783. However, Roentgen did not remain in favour and from 1790 furniture was no longer acquired from him by the Imperial family. Gambs soon became the principal supplier, in particular to Catherine the Great's heir, Paul and his wife Maria Feodorovna. His pieces were initially clearly inspired by Roentgen's work, but soon Gambs developed his own highly precious style, known for its elegants shapes, fine brass inlays and ormolu mounts, of which the present cabinet is an excellent example.