The walnut top of the pier dressing-table is inlaid in the Louis Quatorze Roman fashion with a trompe l'oeil flower vase attended by insect-seeking birds and wreathed by flowered rainceaux of Roman acanthus.
While evoking the poet's concept of an everlasting Spring or 'Ver Perpetuum', it also recalls ancient virtue as it derives from a 1674 ornamental engraving centred by a medallion of Hercules labouring in the Garden of the Hesperides. The engraving, published in London in The Ornaments of Architecture issued by Robert Pricke, was 'collected' from Paul Androuet du Cerceau's Divers Ornements de feuillages en forme de Panneaux issued in the 1650s. This engraving also inspired a related pier-table top, now at Petworth, Sussex (C. Cator, 'Haupt at Petworth', Furniture History, 1993, pp. 72-79 and fig. 5).
In Paris 'flower'd' or 'markatree' furniture 'inlaid with wood of all sorts of colours' was a speciality of Pierre Gôle, who was appointed 'menuisier ébéne et ordinaire du roi', in 1656, while his son Corneille (Cornellius) practised as an ébéniste in London as well as in Paris and Amsterdam.