The Venetian window form of this buttressed open-pedimented bookcase, with truss-capped and sunk-panelled pilasters, relates to engravings of 'the ornamental parts of architecture, in the manner of Inigo Jones and others' published in Batty Langley's City and Country Builder and Workman's Treasury of Designs, 1745 and dated 1739. An Inigo Jones pattern of buttressed pediment was published by John Vardy in Some Designs of Mr Inigo Jones and Mr William Kent, 1744, pl. 2, together with Kent's design for a closely related wire-fronted bookcase designed for Queen Caroline's 'Merlin's Cave' at Richmond.
This bookcase was supplied for Hackwood Park, Hampshire, a seat of the Dukes of Bolton, whose family had owned the estate since the 16th Century. The house was built in the late 17th Century after the destruction of Basing House in 1645, the Marquis of Winchester's former seat. The 6th Marquess was created Duke of Bolton in 1689, and in addition to Hackwood Park, built Bolton Hall in Yorkshire, on an estate inherited by his second wife. Hackwood was substantially rebuilt to the designs of John Vardy in the early 1760s. In 1805 Samuel Wyatt was engaged to remodel the house, followed by his nephew, Lewis Wyatt. There are several items in Lewis Wyatt's Christmas 1813 voucher that may relate to the alteration of this bookcase. It is hard to identify specific references because the voucher does not distinguish between new fitted bookcases being made for either Library or alterations to any existing furniture. The North Library was a new room built at that time, but the South Library was a survivor of Vardy's house which was then completely replastered in Wyatt's late 17th Century style. The South Library must have had 18th Century furniture of which this bookcase could have been part.
Both rooms have a range of fitted bookcases that remained in the room but two references in particular in the voucher may also apply to this freestanding bookcase. The first is a bill for 'taking packing case with Wire Work to Inn' and the second a bill for '£11 for Bramah locks for bookcases'. Both references obviously include the fitted bookcases as well, which have both wirework doors and Bramah locks, but some wire and some locks would have had to be supplied for this bookcase.