This engraved bureau-cabinet, serving as portable desk jewel-case and dressing-box, is designed as a miniature 'desk and bookcase'. Engraved tablets, wreathed by floral 'chintz' fashioned borders, portray magnificent villa landscapes that would harmonise with the Georgian reception dressing apartments that were hung with landscape prints. English Roman-style architecture from Colen Campbell's much reprinted Vitruvius Britannicus (published in several volumes from 1715) featured alongside views from the Haarlem publication, Her Zegepralent Kennemerlant, 1729, on a cabinet from the collection of a Governor of the Dutch Cape Colony; while scenes from R. and J. Dodsley's, London and Its Environs Described, 1761, appear on another related cabinet at Arundel Castle, Sussex. A cabinet on loan to the Victoria & Albert Museum features feet engraved with similar fantastical lions (A. Jaffer, Luxury Goods from India, London, 2002, pp. 80-81, no. 33). A related bureau-cabinet with tiger-decorated feet was sold by Robert H. Metzger, Sotheby's, New York, 27 October 1995, lot 184.
This artistic India-flowered furniture, crafted in exotic ivory veneer, was retailed in Madras and Calcutta by the English and Dutch East India Companies; but it was primarily manufactured in Vizagapatam, on the northern Coromandel Coast. Two other related cabinets, from the estate of Alexander Wynch, a former East India Company Governor of Fort St. George, were acquired in the 1770s by George III (A. Jaffer, Furniture from British India and Ceylon, London, 2001, p. 202).