Promoted by the writer Horace Walpole (d.1797) for it's 'Elizabethan' character, such ebony furniture became an important element of the Romantic 18th and 19th Century antiquarian interior. An ebony settee, reputed to have been presented by Queen Elizabeth I to the Earl of Leicester, formed part of William Beckford's ebony furnishings in his 'Lancaster State Bedroom', that served for Admiral Nelson's celebrated visit to Fonthill Abbey, Wiltshire in 1803, before being acquired for the Elizabethan mansion at Charlecote, Warwickshire in 1832. Ebony bedrooms were also created at Warwick Castle, Warwickshire, and at Montague House, London, while an ebony dining-room was introduced at Longleat, Wiltshire in the early 19th Century. In this period such furniture was particularly associated with antiquarian dealers in Wardour Street, London, who created new forms of furniture using ancient elements.
A similar desk was sold at Christie's, London, 16 May 2006, lot 490.