The form of this cabinet is one which was often reproduced under Portuguese patronage in India. The Western inspiration behind the form is a straightforward seventeenth century cabinet on stand. It differs however in the inclusion of the lower register of four drawers which gives the piece a slightly more substantial appearance. A cabinet of very similar form is in the V&A (Amin Jaffer, Luxury Goods from India, London, 2002, no. 22, pp. 58-9). High-style European furniture of the same period was also characterized by intarsia of various forms, and provides a precedent for the seaweed marquetry of the present cabinet, named for the intricate interlacing designs and dense arabesques that were inlaid.
The sculptural treatment of the legs on this cabinet, and others of the group is particularly distinctive. Whilst these typically assume a variety of human and animal forms, often with a Hindu association, those on the present example however, continue the Western classical architectural tradition of employing stylized atlantes (male versions of caryatids) as columns (Jaffer, op. cit., p. 58).
A Goanese attribution is in part based on the existence of purpose built church furniture closely related in style which exists in the Sacristy of the Bom Jesus in Old Goa. The fitted chests of drawers and cabinets in the sacristy are likely to have been installed some time between 1654 (when the sacristy was enlarged) and 1698 (when the catafalque of St. Francis Xavier was erected), (Fernanda Castro Freire, 50 dos Melhores Móveis Portugueses, Chaves Ferrira - Publicaçoes, S.A., Lisbon, 1995, p.54 quoted in Jaffer, op. cit., p. 57).