The cabinet-maker John McLean (d. 1815) acquired additional premises in Upper Marylebone Street in 1790. The label on this writing-table was in use from circa 1799 to 1805 and records his partnership with his son William (d. 1825). McLean subscribed to Thomas Sheraton's The Cabinet Dictionary, London, 1803 in which he is mentioned in the text for a pouch work table (pl. 65) '...The design...was taken from one executed by Mr M'Lean in Mary-le-bone street, near Tottenham court road, who finishes small articles in the neatest manner'. His work has a distinctive manner finished very neatly in the French style, mainly using rosewood with banding in satinwood or boxwood and towards the end of the firm's existence, brass-inlay.
A related bonheur du jour with very similar gilded-brass mounted legs headed by ribbed panels and a shaped galleried undertier is illustrated in S. Redburn,'John McLean and Son', Furniture History, Leeds, 1978, pl. 38B; it also bears McLean's trade label. A further related bonheur du jour, attributed to John McLean was sold anonymously, Christie's New York, 26 June 1982, lot 177.