This secrétaire is copied from the celebrated model made by Jean-François Dubut in Paris around 1760 and formerly in the Hillingdon Collection. Several other copies, almost identical to these, may be found in collections such as three in the Jones Collection at the Victoria and Albert Museum, two of them are also branded EHB, the mark of Edward Holmes Baldock (d. 1845), listed in Hanway Street from 1808. He may have acquired some of his furniture from Paris through the dealer George Gunn. There is a pair of the same model in the Frick Collection in New York, possibly made by Paul Sormani, and another in the Bowes Museum, Barnard Castle, by Monbro Fils Ainé. Other versions of this model were produced by firms such as Lexcellent, Dasson or Durand.
In addition to the stamp of Edward Holmes Baldock the present secrétaire also bears the later marqué au fer of DUVEEN LONDON, referring to the brothers Joseph and Henry Duveen who were the world’s leading art dealers during the first quarter of the 20th century. Interestingly, illustrating its popularity and importance, another secrétaire of this model twice stamped DUVEEN was offered as one of a pair Christie’s, New York, 24 April 2003, lot 282.