This desk can be confidently attributed to Thomas Chippendale (d. 1779) based both on stylistic attributes and constructional features that appear on documented work from Chippendale's workshop. The distinctive and extremely unusual S-pattern keyhole features almost exclusively on other Chippendale furniture, specifically the bookcases supplied to Sir Penistone Lamb for the Library at Brocket Hall in 1772-1775 (see C. Gilbert, The Life and Work of Thomas Chippendale, London, 1978, vol. II, figs. 77, 80 and 267). They also appear on a drum table almost certainly supplied by Chippendale for Brocket Hall and sold by Christie's London, 9 July 1998, lot 80 (290,000). Moreover, the double scrolled profile of the kneehole centered by a foliate clasp is repeated on the celebrated desk from Nostell Priory, Yorkshire (illustrated op.cit., p.240, figs. 440-441), and the slightly inset profile of the corners appears on another well-known desk by Chippendale from Combe Abbey, Warwickshire. Finally, the design of the desk is based on a pattern for a 'Library Table' in Chippendale's The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director of 1762, plate LXXXIV.
A related desk, more elaborately carved but of nearly identical proportion and also attributed to Chippendale was sold anonymously by Sotheby's London, 7 July 1995, lot 54 (408,500). A further desk of the same proportion from Otterington Hall, Northallerton directly copies the left side of the Chippendale design. This desk is illustrated in M.Harris & Sons, Old English Furniture, London, 1935, pl.48 and R. Edwards and M. Jourdain, Georgian Cabinet-Makers, rev.edn., London, 1955, p.167, fig.89. and was sold by Arthur D. Leidesdorf, Sotheby's London, 27-28 June 1974, lot 33.