This plinth-supported commode is conceived in the early 19th Century Tuscan fashion, with Doric triumphal arch faade, whose frieze, beneath a stepped cornice is encrusted with lapis lazuli tablets. Flanking an open recess are projecting gilt columns, while painted tablets on the commode doors are carved with a gilt love-trophy of Cupid's wreathed darts and sunbursts or stars.
Furniture of a similar nature was acquired around 1930 by the connoisseur Edward James (d. 1984) for both his Wimpole Street house and for Monkton, the house on the West Dean estate. At the age of four, he had inherited the vast collection assembled by his father William James (d. 1912) at West Dean, Sussex. This piece shows similarities to Edward James's own desk that featured in a photograph by Norman Parkinson of 35 Wimpole Street in 1936 (Christie's house sale, West Dean Park 2,3 and 6 June 1986, introduction and lot 352).