The inspiration for this fine quality bureau à cylindre almost certainly comes from the celebrated bureau du Roi by Jean-François Oeben (maître 1761) and Jean-Henri Riesener (maître 1768), supplied in 1769 for the cabinet intérieur of Louis XV at Versailles.
The quality of cabinetry combined with particularly fine and sumptuous ormolu mounts, suggest the German born cabinet-maker, Joseph-Emmanuel Zwiener, as a possible maker for the present desk. Aside from the quality of the mounts, it is also interesting to note the close similarity of the upended dolphins, female masks and acanthus clasps here, with those designed by the sculptor Léon Messagé and incorporated on an armoire by the celebrated ébéniste François Linke, sold in these rooms 24 April 2002, lot 378 ($339,500). In addition to Linke, Messagé is known to have collaborated with a number of other cabinet-makers, including Zwiener, and his designs were not necessarily confined to one individual maker's work.
A bureau à cylindre with identical lower section to the present lot and almost identical figural candelabra, was offered Sotheby's New York, 15 December 1984, lot 41. A cylinder bureau of related design, from the New Orleans collection of Joseph M. Meraux, was sold Sotheby's New York, 17 September 1993, lot 197 ($195,000).