This dressing table exhibits characteristics of the earliest stage of the Rococo as it manifested itself in Philadelphia. The relatively simple, sawed-out skirt, with its uncarved volutes and flat, incised shell are elements reminiscent of the preceeding period but the intricately carved shell-drawer, legs, and feet anticipate future stylistic developments. The aesthetic in general and the carving specifically relates this piece to a number of high chests and dressing tables probably manufactured during the same period. The shell drawer of a dressing table in The Metropolitan Musem of Art has a similarly recessed shell with undulating border, fluted ribs, a relief-carved motif superimposed on the shell, and also has a background of punchwork (illustrated in Heckscher, American Furniture in The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Colonial Period: The Queen Anne and Chippendale Styles (New York, 1985), p.251, fig.163).
The Mifflin-Family high chest and matching dressing table that Sold in these Rooms, October 18, 1996, lot 134, bear even closer similarities to the piece being offered here. The profile of the skirts are identical and the shell drawers of these pieces have recessed shells with characteristics akin to those mentioned. Furthermore, the pieces share a pattern and style of leg carving that includes a half rosette just beneath the corner of the case, c-scrolls that splinter into rosettes at the sides and that continue into veins that delineate a mass of acanthus at center.