The bookcase is fronted by a Tuscan temple-pedimented 'tabernacle' frame, whose voluted trusses rise from a Vitruvian wave-scrolled plinth, while its cornice has acanthus-flowered 'architectural' corners and is surmounted by a 'poetic' trophy of Apollo's palms. Its 'Roman' architecture corresponds to the 'Modern' or 'National' style in the manner of Inigo Jones (d. 1652) that was promoted in George II's reign by Batty Langley's The City and Country Builder's and Workman's Treasury of Designs, 1740.
An almost identical bureau-cabinet with a mirror plate in the door, was with the dealer R.A. Lee. He also had a secretaire-cabinet of similar form and with the same handles, and he has suggested an attribution to Charles Smith (d. by 1767) of Portugal Street for this group of furniture. This attribution results from a visit by R.A. Lee to some descendants of Smith whose collection of furniture, purported to have been made by their ancestor, was identical to this group.
The same architecture, beribboned trophy and handle pattern features on a bookcase acquired in the early 20th Century by the celebrated furniture collector Percival Griffiths (d. 1938), and illustrated as 'characteristic of the design of William Kent', in R.W. Symonds, English Furniture from Charles II to George II, 1929 (fig. 209; sold in these Rooms, 10-12 May l939, lot 256). Another bureau-cabinet, similar to the latter, was purchased in 1966 from Pelham Galleries by Mr. J.F. Hayward (sold from the collection of the late Helena Hayward, Sotheby's London, 4 July 1997, lot 44).