This bureau-cabinet is modelled on the spectacular exhibition piece manufactured in Rome by Giovanni Battista Gatti (1816-89), cabinet maker and specalist inlayer, for display at the 1855 Paris International Exhibition, and commissioned by the American connoisseur Mr. Wright Post. Gatti's achievement in gaining the First class medal in the furniture section of the Exhibition is recorded on a label pasted inside the bureau and bearing a medallion of Emperor Napoleon III. It is also very closely related to another bureau, commissioned by William, 11th Duke of Hamilton (d. 1863), who inherited Hamilton Palace, Lanarkshire in 1852. It was no doubt intended as a present for his Duchess, Princess Mary of Baden, a cousin of Napoleon III, who had played a leading role in promoting the Paris 1855 Exhibition. The cabinet was sold in these rooms, 28 October 1993, lot 287 (£91,700).
For comparision of the 1855 Paris Exhibition cabinet, see C. Payne, 19th Century European Furniture, Woodbridge, 1985, pp. 159 and 441.