Thomas Chippendale (d.1787), cabinet-maker of St. Martin's Lane, published all the patterns for this tripartite bureau-bookcase with recessed cabinets incorporating 'antique', 'gothic', and 'French' elements in his Gentleman and Cabinet-maker's Director, 1st ed., 1754, and 3rd ed., 1763. Its pedestal-centred pediment, intended for bust or vase, and its Doric guttae-enriched entablature derive from George II Palladian-style bookcases in the 'Tuscan' or 'Dorick' manner illustrated in Batty Langley's City and Country Builder's Treasury of Designs, 1740; white its gothic arcaded and trellis-fretted frieze and the glazing bars arched tracery derive from the Palladianised 'gothick' invented by Batty and Thomas Langley in their Gothic Architecture Restored and Improved , 1741. The French element is contributed by the 'commode' clothes-press doors' hollow-cornered mouldings, the glazing tracery of looped-ribbon guilloche and ormolu handles (now changed).
The bookcase base relates to patterns intended for a lady's Cabinet or Dressing room, with a frieze bureau-dressing drawer and commode clothes-press compartment with trays, such as Chippendale provided for the Yellow Bedroom of Dumfries House, Ayreshire in 1759 (see: C. Gilbert, The Life and Work of Thomas Chippendale, London, 1978, vol. II, fig. 63). This one has a plain drawer and plan-shelves underneath, so is more likely to have been commissioned for a gentleman's apartment or library, and to have been fitted with restrained loop-handles. Its present Grecian-rosette handles and the robust flowered corners, in the manner of Chippendale's cabinets for ladies, are additional later embellishments.
The superb cabinet-making, with beautifully figured and matched-panel veneer and elegant glazing-bars, which incline to disappear when the case is filled with books, all contribute to the attribution to Chippendale, and this is corroborated by the use of his special lock type with serpentine aperture (S-pattern) that features on cabinet-work supplied to his Yorkshire patrons Sir Rowland Winn, 5th Baronet (d.1786) of Nostell Priory, and Daniel Lascelles (d.1801) of Goldsborough Hall. (See: C. Gilbert, The Life and Work of Thomas Chippendale, London, 1978).