This desk with its slightly protruding apron centred by a scallop shell, appears to form part of a group of bureaux-on-stand, two of which are documented as originating from houses in Northamptonshire. One had a label, now lost, inscribed 'for Lord Geo. Germain, at Drayton, near Thrapston, Northamptonshire. From the Bear and Ragg'd Staff Smithfield'. It was sold first by Mrs L. Mackay, Yotes Court, Kent, Christie's House Sale, 16 April 1984, lot 142 and again anonymously, Christie's, London, 11 April 1991, lot 125. The other is illustrated in J.C. Rogers, English Furniture, rev. ed., London, 1950, p. 132, and is said to be from Boughton House.
Solomon Gubbay was a rope and jute merchant who travelled extensively and lived in America in the 1920s. His cousin, David Gubbay and his wife Hannah, bequeathed their impressive collection of furniture and porcelain to the National Trust in 1968, and it is now displayed at Clandon Park, Surrey.
Solomon Gubbay began collecting around 1930 and his eclectic taste clearly shows from the pieces of furniture sold from his collection at Christie's, London. For example: a George II blue-painted dresser (14 May 1992, lot 196); a George II rolled paper mirror and pair of console tables en suite (6 April 1995, lots 213 and 214); a George IV red-painted and simulated bamboo cabinet-on-stand, and a William and Mary burr-elm chest, (18 April 1996, lots 83 and 84).