The Balfour dressing-table corresponds in form to the 1815 pattern approved as suitable for Emperor/General Napoleon's use on St. Helena by the ministers of George IV, when Prince Regent. Napoleon's furnishings, executed by the Tenterden Street cabinet-maker George Bullock (d. 1818), were lauded by R. Ackermann in, The Repository of Arts, 1816. This dressing-table, with its recess arched by a Grecian-fretted ribbon-moulding and its reeded-urn stump feet, was commissioned from the fashionable Edinburgh cabinet-maker William Trotter (d. 1833) of Princes Street by General Robert Balfour (d. 1837) for Balbirnie House in Fife, Scotland. Amongst the first residents of John Nash's newly-built Carlton House Terrace in London - living at no. 14 from 1829-36, before selling it to the Earl of Lonsdale - Balfour would undoubtedly have been aware of the Francophile tastes enamoured by George, Prince of Wales, later George IV, and his circle and readily serviced by the English marchand-mercier Edward Holmes Baldock (d.1854). It would, therefore, seem most probable that the dressing table was purchased by General Balfour in the 1820s. It was amongst the furnishings supplied following the house's aggrandisement under the direction of the Edinburgh architect Richard Crichton (d. 1817) (see A. Rowan, 'Balbirnie Castle', Country Life, 29 June-6 July 1972).