The floral marquetry on these shelves reflects the fashion for French 'picturesque' design among leading London cabinet-makers in the 1760s and 1770s. The elongated stems with long slender leaves is of a type typically associated with the cabinet-maker John Cobb and appears on various examples attributed to this maker as discussed by Lucy Wood in her Catalogue of Commodes (London, 1994, pp.95-96, figs.90 and 92). The emigrant cabinet-maker Pierre Langlois also specialized in furniture 'inscrutez de fleurs en bois et marqueteries' as advertised in his trade sheet. A related set of hanging shelves embellished with floral marquetry was reputedly acquired from Castletown, Co.Kildare, Ireland, where Langlois was known to have supplied furnishings. These shelves were sold from The Montague Sainsbury Collection, Christie's South Kensington, 7 July 1999, lot 706 (£6,900).