This 'triumphal-arch' bureau-cabinet or 'Lady's Cabinet', designed for a Bedroom Apartment, reflects the George II style described as 'Modern', in Thomas Chippendale's, Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director, 1754, and as being based on Roman architecture but embellished in a whimsical Indian Chinese manner. The central book china case, has its glazed door flowered in a mosaiced compartment of lozenged ribbon-frets; while its cornice is intended for porcelain vases or figures and fitted with a fretted tray-rail with pagoda-swept pediment crowned by umbrello'd shades at centre and corners. Its small recessed cabinets are similarly fretted, while their rails incorporate urn-capped pedestals. The bureau, with trompe l'oeil drawers concealing its hinged 'fall', is incorporated in its 'commode' chest-of-drawers, and has its 'prospect' fitted with a fretted 'tabernacle' door enclosing drawers that are are veneered in tortoiseshell in the Louis Quatorze fashion. Its ornament can chiefly be found in Chippendale's Director. Its glazing fuses two 'China Case' frets engraved in plate. 110; while its canopied pediment relates to his 'China Case' (pl 105); its rail to that of his 'Bookcase' (pl.80), and its crossed and cusp-ended fret to that of his 'Cabinet' (pl.94).
A related secretaire-cabinet fusing Chinese ornament with Director patterns was almost certainly supplied by the Wakefield cabinet-makers Wright & Elwick to Charles, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham (d. 1782) and known as the 'Marchioness of Rockingham's Cabinet'. It was sold in the 'Wentworth' sale, Christie's, London, 8 July 1998, lot 35 (£507,500). Another with a serpentine base of four graduated drawers is in the Noel Terry collection, Fairfax House, York (P. Brown, The Noel Terry Collection of Furniture and Clocks, York, 1987, p. 43).