The combination of Gothick, Chinese and French rococo elements featured on the present lot typify the fashion in English furniture promoted by Thomas Chippendale and his contemporaries during the late 1750s and early 1760s. In particular the scalloped pagoda moulding to the perimeter surmounting the lower section, features in Chippendale's pattern for a `China Case', illustrated in the 3rd edition of his Director, 1762, pl. CXXXVII. Furthermore, the handles to the drawers are of a type commonly associated with Chippendale's workshop (see Christopher Gilbert, The Life and Works of Thomas Chippendale, 1978, 2 vols., vol. I, colour pl. 15 and vol. II, p. 146, pl. 263).
A mahogany breakfront library bookcase with a similar pagoda moulding, with provenance from Claude D. Rotch which was identified as possibly by the Wentworth cabinet-making firm Wright and Elwick, sold Christie's London, 28 November 2002, lot 110. A secretaire bookcase almost identical to the offered lot but without glazing to the sides of the upper section, sold Christie's London, 9 July 1992, lot 144. A further similar cabinet sold Sotheby's, Barnwell Manor, 28-29 May 1992, lot 186.
Amongst the aforementioned related cabinets, the example here is distinguished in the configuration of the upper section with its astragal glazed sides and shaped fixed shelves conceived as a china display cabinet. Another almost identical cabinet exhibiting this feature is held in a private collection.
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