This leather-lined and bronze-ornamented bureau-plat writing-table, with book-filled cartonnier frieze, is conceived in the robust Louis Seize or French/antiquarian manner adopted around 1800 for comfortable and fashionable Living-Rooms and promoted in particular by George IV, when Prince of Wales. A golden reeded ribbon-band wreathes its octagonal compartmented top; and being intended for a flower-vase garniture this recalls the ornament of the Palmyreen Temple dedicated to the sun-deity Apollo (R. Woods, Temple of the Sun at Palmyra, 1753). Its conjoined tables, each with canted sides flanking a triumphal-arched knee-recess, have golden Egyptian-reeds banding the cut, columnar corners and herm-tapered legs, whose triumphal urn-capped and palm-flowered pillars serve to evoke Apollo's triumph as poetry leader of the Mr. Parnassus Muses of Artistic Inspiration.
Its style reflects that introduced by the celebrated Mayfair firm and court cabinet-makers that traded until 1803 as Messrs. Elward, Marsh and Tatham. Messrs. Marsh and Tatham of Mount Street have also been credited with the manufacture of a bronze-ornamented bureau-plat that was formerly at Somerley, Hampshire (sold Christie's King Street, 6 July 2000, lot 50).
An identical pair of tables, undoubtedly executed in the same workshop and quite possibly forming part of the same commission, remain in the collection of His Grace the Duke of Marlborough at Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire. They are likely to have been commissioned by George Spencer-Churchill, 5th Duke of Marlborough (d.1840) shortly after his inheritance in 1817 of Marlborough House, London and Blenheim Palace, Oxfordshire. Such tables would well have suited the adaptation of Blenheim's Sunderland Library (now called the Long Gallery) to serve as a comfortable Regency Living Room.