The bureau-dressing-table, elegantly serpentined in French 'picturesque' fashion, is likely to have been designed for a lady's dressing-room decorated in 1770s Roman style. Floral sprigs, displayed in a golden medallion on its cupid-bowed and reed-banded top, also harmonised with contemporary taste for India flowered textiles; while trefoiled acanthus ribbon-tied in the spandrels reflects the French fashion promoted from the 1750s by the Tottenham Court Road 'ebeniste' or cabinet-maker Pierre Langlois (d. 1767). The floral trophy comprises a tulip, which can symbolise love, beauty and the sun, and it appears to be accompanied by 'Windflower' anemones, which may be intended to serve as a 'Vanitas' trophy as they evoke Ovid's History of Venus and Adonis. In addition the sunflowered patera-medallion of the writing-drawer recalls the sun-and-poetry deity Apollo as it is festooned by beribboned laurels; and the deity's triumphal palms are incorporated in laurels festooned from the writing-slide.
Thomas Chippendale supplied one such table, veneered in 'tulip' and 'rose' woods, for Nostell Priory, Yorkshire and invoiced it in 1766 as: 'A Lady's commode writing table made of tulip and rosewood with a slider cover'd with Green Cloth 5.14.0 (C. Gilbert, The Life and Work of Thomas Chippendale, London, 1978, fig.436).