The 1770's bedroom-apartment 'commode-table' is conceived as a pictorial-fronted chest and decorated in the 'Roman' fashion promoted by the Adam brothers' 'Derby House' commode (The Works in Architecture of Robert and James Adam, 1777, pl. 8). Ornamented in celebration of lyric poetry, its Grecian black-banded top displays a triumphal palm wreath; while the façade's tablet depicts lyre-bearing Erato, Apollo's Mount Parnssus companion and the Muse of a Lyric Poetry, framed in a palm-flowered and laurel-wreathed medallion. Its elegant taper-hermed legs have their stump feet capped by tablets in the contemporary French 'Goût grec' fashion. This fashion of serpentine-fronted and side-opening commode was adopted in particular by the Soho firm of John Mayhew and William Ince, and appears for instance on their commodes supplied in the 1780s for Broadlands, Hampshire (L. Wood, Catalogue of Commodes, London, 1994, p. 214 and figs. 202-4). A marquetry 'Erato' medallion after a design of Angelica Kauffmann's was executed in 1772 by the London-based Swedish ébéniste C. Furlohg (ibid., fig.111).
A related serpentined commode, with inlaid medallion derived from d'Hancarville's Collection of Etruscan, Greek and Roman Antiquities, Naples, 1766-67, and formerly owned by John Fowler, was sold by the late Sir Emmanuel Kaye, C.B.E. (1914-2000), in these Rooms, 20 September 2001, lot 320.