The galleried writing-table, with paired pilasters raised on Grecian-scrolled plinths, is designed in the early 19th century French antique manner; but enriched with flowered quatrefoils and chamfered corners in the Gothic fashion adopted in the 1840s for London's 'New Palace of Westminster' under the guidance of the architect A.W.N. Pugin (d. 1852), author of Gothic Furniture in the Style of the Fifteenth Century, 1835. The table also reflects the British style popularised by the contributions by Pugin and Messrs Crace & Company to the 1851 Great Exhibition's Mediaeval Court, and relates to the writing-table they executed for Virginia, Countess Somers at the time of her marriage in 1850 (P. Atterbury ed., A.W.N. Pugin, London, 1995, no. 112).
The present table is likely to have been commissioned from Messrs Holland & Sons, the court cabinet-makers, by John Winston Spencer-Churchill, 7th Duke of Marlborough, K.G. around the time of his succession in 1857. Its frieze of richly mottled walnut is embellished with Marlborough 'M' cypher handles suspended from quatrefoiled plates, which would been manufactured by Birmingham firm of John Hardman & Co.