Designed à l'Anglaise in the restrained Louis XVI Grecian taste, this bureau plat reflects the influence of a marchand-mercier such as Dominique Daguerre, who established his shop in Piccadilly, London in 1788. With its understated use of finely-figured mahogany divided by restrained ormolu bands and milles-raies panels, it shares much in common with the late oeuvres of Adam Weisweiler (maître in 1778) and his contemporaries, Guillaume Benneman (maître in 1785) and Fidelis Schey (maître in 1777). A related bureau plat stamped by Weisweiler and subsequently recorded in the Palais d'Elysée under Napoleon III in 1866, but with deeper apron and rounded angles enriched with milles-raies panels, is illustrated in P. Lemonnier, Weisweiler, Paris, 1983, p.86, whilst a bureau of similar form but more lavishly mounted to harmonize with an earlier commode supplied by Joubert, was supplied by Benneman for Louis XVI's Library at Fontainebleau in 1787 (A. Pradère, French Furniture Makers, London, 1989, p.407, fig.503). Finally, the same fundamental restrained character is shared with the table à ecrire almost certainly supplied in 1786 by Schey for the Cabinet de Travail du Roi at the château de Fontainebleau, which was sold by Lord Elphinstone in these Rooms, 9 June 1994, lot 55.
The brand would appear to be that of an as yet unidentified North European, possibly German late 18th or early 19th Century inventory.