The attribution of this desk to the celebrated London makers Mayhew and Ince is based upon the connection between Mayhew and Ince and the Earls of Craven at Combe Abbey, Warwickshire where there is desk of identical form, although veneered in mahogany, (illustrated in situ in C. Latham, In English Homes, 3rd ed. London, 1909, p. 300). In addition, the use of large scale burr-yew veneer within an ebony-lined surround, 'the only wholly idiosyncratic veneer wood the firm used and possibly unique to Mayhew and Ince among London cabinet-makers of this date' is distinctive of their work. (C. Gilbert et al. The Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1660-1840, Leeds, 1986, p.593)
The star inlay to the writing surface of the desk is closely related to that on a George III mahogany breakfront bookcase, sold Christie's London, 8 July 1993, lot 123 and on a pair of bookcases supplied en suite with the famous Violin bookcase by Thomas Chippendale circa 1762 to the Earl of Pembroke, for Pembroke House, Whitehall. The stars on this desk are of simplified form and do not repeat the shadowing of those on the aforementioned bookcases.