The temple-pedimented bookcase, which combines 'Roman' architecture with French 'picturesque', Chinese and Gothick elements, epitomises the variety of the style popularised by Thomas Chippendale's Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director, 1754. Its general form, comprising a 'commode' base with recessed nest-of-drawers, corresponds to Chippendale's 'Library Bookcase' pattern (pl. LXII). Its Roman glazing with octagon compartments, together with an arcaded entablature beneath an open pediment, featured in bookcase patterns published by Robert Sayer in A Society of Upholsterers, Cabinet-Makers etc., Household Furniture in Genteel Taste, pt. II, 1760, pls. 37 and 36. The base section is wreathed by a double-braced Chinese fret which, like its scalloped cornice, features in Chippendale's 'China Case' pattern of 1761 (ilustrated in the 3rd edition of his Director, 1762 (pl. CXXXVII).
A number of stylistic characteristics suggest that this cabinet may possibly be by the Wakefield firm of Wright and Elwick, identified as 'The Wentworth Cabinet Maker' in Christie's catalogue of the sale from the Wentworth collection, 8 July 1998. The most general feature is its dependence on designs from the two editions of Thomas Chippendale's Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director, as detailed above, but with idiosyncratic variations such as the unusual stepped plinth. A number of the pieces of furniture sold from Wentworth Woodhouse had this characteristic, including lot 70, a breakfront dressing-table cabinet. To this is added the extensive use of quatrefoil motifs, here on the drawer-fronts but very freely on the Wentworth Woodhouse furniture such as lots 35, 62 and 69 from the 1998 sale.
A closely related bookcase, but with key-pattern bracket feet and lacking cornice is illustrated in F. Lewis Hinckley, The More Significant Georgian Furniture, New York, 1990, p. 57, fig. 77.