This bookcase was sold from the F.-J. FitzGerald Will Trust. Included in this property was a George III marquetry bureau, given to the late Eileen Theresa FitzGerald. A label on the bureau stated that it had belonged to her grandfather William Henry John, 11th Baron North (b. 1836) and it is possible that this bookcase formed part of the same collection.
The cabinet, with open and closed book-shelves topped by a wave-scrolled china-rail, is designed in the French antique or Pompeian manner introduced around 1800. Its veneer of marble-figured yew is ormolu-enriched with Egyptian reed-clustered pillars and palm flowers. Such pillars featured on a bookcase bearing the label of the Fleet Street cabinet-maker Robert Herring (d. 1839), a subscriber to Thomas Sheraton's 'Cabinet Encyclopaedia', 1803 (see C. Gilbert, Pictorial Dictionary of Marked London Furniture, Leeds, 1996, p. 264). The latter bookcase has mounts that also feature on the Anglesey Desk, attributed to the court cabinet-makers Messrs Marsh and Tatham of Mount Street (sold by the Executors of the late Sir John Musker, in these Rooms, 8 July 1993 , lot 125). It is possible that the present cabinet was executed by Messrs Marsh and Tatham, as they supplied related bookcases in 1806 for George, Prince of Wales, later George IV, at Carlton House, and described them as 'Elegant Yew Tree bookcases inlaid with ebony ornaments decorated with bronze antique heads, rich ormolu ornaments [...]'. When they were moved to Windsor Castle in 1827 a number of alterations and enrichements were undertaken by Morel and Seddon (see H. Roberts, 'Metamorphoses in Wood', Apollo, July 1990, pp. 382-390; one of the bookcases belonged to the late Villiers David, Esq., sold in these Rooms, 21 November 1985, lot 96 (£148,500 inc. premium) and offered again anonymously, in these Rooms, 3 July 1997, lot 70)).