This handsome bureau-cabinet, beautifully veneered in flame-figured mahogany is a masterpiece of the Gillow firm of London and Lancaster, and is executed in the chaste antique style promoted by Messrs A. Hepplewhite & Co.'s The Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer's Guide, 1788. Its cabinet pattern, with doors ray-parquetried from elliptic 'Roman' medallions, derived from an engraving dated 1787 in the Guide (pl. 88) and featured in Gillow's 1788 sketch-book, where it stands on a straight-fronted rather than sloped bureau. They also introduced the elliptic medallioned patera handle-plate at this period (L. Boynton, Gillow Furniture Designs 1760-1800, Royston, 1995, figs. 132 and 134). The bureau section, with its fretted brackets, also derives from the Guide (pl. 40). If the bureau-cabinet was made for Nostell Priory, Yorkshire, it could have been commissioned by Lady Sabine Winn (d. 1798), widow of Sir Rowland Winn 5th Bt. (d. 1785) and intended for her son Sir Rowland, 6th Bt. (1775-1805) or daughter Esther (1768-1803). However there is a possibility that it was amongst the furniture brought to Nostell following a fire at Thorndon Hall, Essex, in 1878. The latter was built in the 1770s by the architect Samuel Wyatt (d. 1807), whose family had a close working relationship with that of the Gillows. So this cabinet might have been commissioned for Thorndon by Robert Petre, 9th Baron Petre (d. 1801).