The marble-topped and ormolu-enriched lady's secretaire is designed in the Louis XVI style of the 1760s and embellished with two identical marquetried and ribbon-framed tablets of foliated cartouches with rose-branches inhabited by birds and butterflies. It bears the brand of the celebrated dealer Edward Holmes Baldock (d.1854), who was trading in Hanway Street, off Oxford Street, between 1806 and 1844 as an 'Ornamental China-dealer', 'Furniture Broker and Appraiser', and 'Foreign China and Furniture Warehouse[man]'. In 1832 he was appointed 'Purveyor of China, Earthenware and Glass' to King William IV. As a marchand-mercier in 17th and 18th Century French furniture and decorative arts, he had business dealings with Parisian merchants such as George Gunn, who supplied furniture to Lord Stuart de Rothesay (see S. Medlam, The Bettine, Lady Abingdon Collection, London, 1996).
The secretaire could have formed part of the French furnishings introduced to Temple Newsam House, Leeds by Isabella, Marchioness of Hertford (d. 1834), long-time confidante of George IV. In 1865 the house was inherited by her nephew Hugo Charles Meynell Ingram (d. 1869) and later by Hugo Francis Meynell Ingram (d. 1871), whose other house, Hoar Cross Hall, Staffordshire had also been furnished with a fine collection of antique furniture. His widow the Hon. Charlotte Meynell Ingram lived at Temple Newsam House until her death in 1904.