This bureau-plat can be firmly attributed to the Blake workshop on the basis of its distinctive marquetry decoration executed in the Dutch fashion. The firm of 'cabinet inlayers and buhl manufacturers' was established by Robert Blake in 1826 and evolved to George Blake & Co. by the 1840's. Displaying serpent-headed cornucopiae issuing flowers, musical and theatrical trophies, the marquetry is emblematic of peace and plenty, as well as of the arts.
The brand 'EHB' is that of the celebrated dealer Edward Holmes Baldock (1777-1845), who traded as an 'Ornamental China-Dealer', 'Furniture Broker and Appraiser' and 'Foreign China and Furniture Warehouseman'. Baldock was perhaps the most influential figure in the London art market in the early 19th century, numbering among his clients King George IV, the Duke of Northumberland and William Beckford. Baldock almost certainly made use of cabinet-makers and specialists in decoration, such as inlayers of marquetry, in his quest to fulfill large commissions of fashionable furniture for patrons such as the 5th Duke of Buccleuch. As a sophisticated marchand mercier, Baldock was able to supply furniture of the most up-to-date fashion from the hands of the most skilled craftsmen of the day.
A desk at Goodwood House, Sussex, labelled 'Messrs Blake', and a piano in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum of Art (Mus. no. 59.76) stamped, 'Designed and Executed by/George Henry Blake/London', feature related floral marquetry (M. Levy, 'E.H, Baldock and the Blake Family', Furniture History Society Newsletter, May 2005, p.1-2). The table's possible pair, with opposing marquetry decoration, was sold Christie's London, 9 July 1998, lot 136 (£ 19,550 including premium).