The bureau's Ionic-scrolled and temple-pedimented cornice is richly carved, like the base, with palms and antique-flutes, while sacred urns crown its centre and corners. The central urn's projecting plinth has altar-hollowed sides, while the others bear Palmyreen 'sunflowered' medallions derived from Apollo's temple (cf. R. Wood, Ruins of Palmyra, 1753). The fashion for antique-fluted furniture and vase-embellishment in the Roman 'columbarium' fashion, was promoted around 1760 by architects such as James 'Athenian' Stuart (d. 1788) and Robert Adam (d. 1792) and later adopted by cabinet-makers such as William and John Linnell of Berkeley Square. This cabinet's elongated and urn-capped pediment, as well as the sunflowered medallion also appear to be features of Linnell-designed cabinets (H. Hayward, William and John Linnell, London, 1980, figs. 16-20). A closely related scrolled pediment features on a Lady's secretaire supplied in 1766 to Sir Rowland Winn for Nostell Priory, Yorkshire (C. Gilbert, The Life and Work of Thomas Chippendale, London, 1978, vol. II, p. 58, fig. 90).
The handles, with their poetic laurel-wreathed sunflowers, also appear in an 18th century Birmingham metalworker's pattern-book (T. Crom, An Eighteenth Century English Brass Hardware Catalogue, Florida, 1995, p. 79, no. 534).