This rare Roman ‘burò’, baroque in its conception, is an impressive example of Italian ebanisteria of the second quarter of the eighteenth century. Although the overall form is influenced by seventeenth century Anglo-Dutch models, the exaggerated proportions and pronounced scrolled volutes to the angles, or spigoli, indicate a Roman origin. The cabinet’s boldly curving profile, in particular to the rippling outline of the lower drawers, are distinguishing features also found on numerous cassettone con ribalta of the period. Another element which identifies the cabinet as quintessentially Roman is the decoration to the slope, which includes three panels of interlacing marquetry scrolls enclosing richly-figured rosewood. The abundance of finely carved giltwood ornamentation, adorned to not only the pediment and surrounds of the arched mirrored doors, but also to the walnut veneered fitted interior, is also worthy of note.
A virtually identical bureau-cabinet, albeit with painted landscapes to the reverse of the doors, possibly from the same workshop as the present cabinet, is illustrated in A. González-Palacios, Arredi e Ornamenti alla Corte di Roma 1560-1795, Milan, 2004, p. 182-183