Portfolio cabinets with hinged and ratchetted tops were fashionable library furnishings during the early 19th century. Gillow's Estimate Sketch Book for August 1836 included a closely related design (no. 5106), its selling price listed as 13.2.6. One such portfolio cabinet in this design by Gillows of Lancaster was sold Mere Hall, Knutsford, Cheshire, Christie's, 23 May 1994, lot 196 (32,200). The present cabinet, conceived in the contemporary Antique manner with stepped plinth and Grecian palm-flowered and ribbon-fretted frieze, is veneered in Oak with Etruscan black enrichments, reflecting the taste popularized by the Liverpool and London cabinet-maker George Bullock (d. 1818). Its pilaster tablets are embellished with ebony frames as featured on a games table illustrated in C. Wainwright, et. al. George Bullock: Cabinet-Maker, London, 1988, p. 110, no. 47.