The commode façade is veneered with a silken figured tablet of satinwood, and, like its black moulded top, is inlaid with a golden patera medallion within a black ribbon band. The black frames evoke the 'Etruscan' style, inspired by antique pottery that was introduced to fashionable apartments during the 1770s and lauded in Robert and James Adam's, Works in Architecture, 1773/4. The figurative medallion with its palm-flowered patera wreathed and festooned with laurels also recalls lyric poetry. Its engraved inlay of a festive garlanded urn is attended by a box-bearing maiden, derived from a figure in the garden of the Hesperides painted on a Grecian water-jar. The hydria jar in the possession of Sir William Hamilton featured in Pierre-François-Hugues d'Hancarville's Collection of Etruscan, Greek and Roman Antiquities, Naples, 1766/67. The same engraving inspired the decoration of a table supplied for Robert Adam's 'Etruscan' room at Osterley Park, Middlesex in the late 1770s by the Birmingham and London japanner Henry Clay (d. 1812) (M. Tomlin, Catalogue of Adam Period Furniture, London, 1972, p. 82).
Related medallions on a pair of corner cupboards formerly in the collection of the Earls of Home. The corner cupboards originally accompanied a commode, attributed to Mayhew & Ince (L. Wood, Catalogue of Commodes, London, 1994, no. 22, pp. 195-199) and also featured figures from d'Hancarville's 1766 publication of designs from Sir William Hamilton's vase.