This elegant and multi-purpose George II bedroom apartment suite comprises a cabinet and a pair of bureau/dressing-chests that are conceived as French secretaires-à-abattant/coffrets bijoux, with their fitted compartments concealed by hinged tops and fronts. Veneered in East Indian padouk and displayed on table-stands that provided appropriate areas for china-vase display, they relate to the contemporary 'India' Japanned lady's 'union suites' such as that supplied in 1739 by the Soho cabinet-maker John Hodson for Blair Castle, Scotland (A. Coleridge, 'John Hodson and some cabinet-makers at Blair Castle', Connoisseur, April 1963, p. 230, fig. 15). Contemporary dressing-rooms, often serving as fashionable reception rooms, were furnished en suite with tea-tables and tea-caddies, such as those with golden ribbon-band inlay and mouldings in the French fashion illustrated by C. Gilbert and T. Murdoch in John Channon and brass-inlaid furniture 1730-1760, London, 1993, pl. XXVII.
This superbly crafted suite is most likely to have been the work of London's Moravian Brethren, that was focused in the 1740s around such celebrated figures as William Gomm, Abraham Roentgen and Johann Friedrich Hintz (L. Boynton, 'William and Richard Gomm', Burlington Magazine, June 1980, pp.395-400; and L. Boynton, 'The Moravian Brotherhood and the Migration of Furniture Makers in the Eighteenth Century', Furniture History, 1993, pp. 45-58).
Such furniture, with its 'lady's cabinet', was well-suited to a fashionable London bedroom apartment reception rooms, and is likely to have been commissioned for a member of General Dormer's family, for Rousham, Oxfordshire.