This ormolu-mounted and parcel-gilt rosewood chiffonier-secretaire typifies the high quality work of the Little Newport Street and Upper Marrylebone Street cabinet-makers John McLean and Son (active 1770-1815). Although unlabelled, it can be attributed to the firm through its distinct fusion of Egyptian and Grecian motifs with 19th century Parisian fashion. The firm advertised that it specialised in 'Elegant Parisian Furniture', but like other examples by the firm, the secretaire has a clear English restraint. The toupie feet and overall form draw inspiration of Louis XIV French furniture, while the use of metal mounts and solid Rosewood is charactersitic of McLean and Son's work. Its overall from, with its mirror-backed 'chiffonier' gallery for books and dcorative objects, relates to a pattern for a black rosewood 'Lady's Secretary' in Thomas Sheraton's Drawing-Book, 1791-94, pl. XLI.
A chiffonier-secretaire almost identical to the present lot and attributed to Jon McLean was sold by the late Tom Devenish, Sotheby's, New York, 24 April 2008, lot 173. A chiffonier almost identical to the present lot but with rectangular panelled doors is at the Victoria and Albert Museum and bears the label of 'J. McLean and Son', of the type used after 1805. Another chiffonier attributed to McLean and almost identical to the latter and present lot is illustrated in Simon Redburn, 'John McLean and Son', Furniture History, 1978, pl. 33A. In addition, another almost identical chiffonier-secretaire with rectangular panelled doors was sold, by the late Algernon Rothman, Esq., Christie's, London, 5 October 1995, lot 214.