The bookcase china-cabinet of golden satinwood is embellished with Etruscan-black fillets and pearled-ribbon inlay in the George III 'antique' manner. The commode section's frieze displays an 'Apollo' sunflowered ribbon-guilloche of Roman acanthus, while the door tablets evoke lyric-poetry and Rome's Temple of Venus with their palm-wreathed and flowered lozenge compartments. The frieze inlay relates to that featured on a satinwood bureau-dressing table executed by the Soho firm of Messrs John Mayhew and William Ince around 1790 for a bedroom apartment at Warren Hasting's Daylesford House, Worcestershire. In an 1834 inventory, the latter was recorded en suite with a pair of 'bookcases' (see L. Boynton, 'The Furniture of Warren Hastings', Burlington Magazine, August 1970, pp. 508-520 and fig. 23). The same patterned tablets also featured on a commode in the possession of R.H. Benson around 1900 (illustrated here and in P. Macquoid, A History of English Furniture, The Age of Satinwood, London, 1908, p. 172, pl. 157).
The distinctive use of 'pearled' or dot borders allied with elaborate marquetry is characteristic of the work of Mayhew and Ince, and can, for instance be seen on the group of furniture at Badminton, Avon, which corresponds with large payments made to the firm by the Dowager Duchess of Beaufort between 1778-1798. Of the Badminton group, the strongest parallels can be drawn with a pair of semi-elliptical side tables and an oval table (which interestingly also employs rosewood as a ground to the marquetry), which are illustrated in L. Wood, Catalogue of Commodes, London, 1994, pp. 230-231, figs. 217-219.
Interestingly, the same distinctive pattern of flowered guilloche on the frieze of this cabinet is shared with that on a pair of satinwood commodes attributed to Thomas Chippendale; one is in the Lady Lever Art Gallery (illustrated in Wood, ibid., no. 20, pp. 180-190) and the other was sold anonymously, in these Rooms, 6 July 1995, lot 152 (£331,500).