This model of desk is based on a Gillow design, which first appeared in 1792 (Estimate Sketch Book 344/96, p. 896, September 1792) although Thomas Sheraton is generally credited with having introduced the pattern, see a design published in his The Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer's Drawing-Book, London, 1802, pl. 58. The form, with open bookshelves to the reverse, was made by Gillows of London and Lancaster from 1840 to circa 1860 and became one of the firm’s best-known models. It corresponds to two sketches for 'An Oak pedestal and Kidney table' in one of Gillows' Estimate Sketch Books, dated 1840. A stamped Gillow example with the same Bramah lock is illustrated in S.E. Stuart, Gillows of Lancaster and London 1730-1840, Woodbridge, 2008, vol. I, p. 339, fig. 393. Both John Barrow, the craftsman, and his father, William, worked for Gillows; John from about 1825-60. From 1826, he served a seven year apprenticeship to Leonard Redmayne for which he was paid 7s per week after two years' service. This desk appears to be the last signed and dated piece of furniture made by him, as the latest recorded item cited by Susan Stuart is dated 1848 (ibid., vol. II, p. 215).
Closely related examples in burr-walnut, with the same or similar gilded handles and also fitted with Bramah locks were sold from the collection of Richard Mellon Scaife, Christie's, New York, 30 June - 1 July 2015, lot 451 ($32,500 including premium) and another was sold anonymously by a Rhode Island Collector, Christie's, New York, 9 April 2019, lot 74 ($22,500).