Conceived in the High Renaissance style, the cabinet was designed by Alfred Lorimer, the principal designer of Jackson and Graham of 37 Oxford Street. The precise circumstances surrounding the commission are uncertain. It has been suggested it was commissioned by Thomas Earl of Bective (1844-1893) - formerly Baron of Kenlis or Kells - to celebrate his marriage in 1867 at a staggering cost of £4,000. Why it was subsequently offered in a sale of Jackson and Graham's unsold stock in 1885 remains a mystery.
Jackson and Graham were perhaps the leading London cabinet-makers and decorators of the mid-Victorian period. The firm was established in 1836 and quickly became recognised as one the most fashionable suppliers. Jackson and Graham were bestowed the honour of decorating the dais erected for the Royal family for the opening of the Great Exhibition in the Crystal Palace in 1851 and went on to exhibit widely. In addition to the aforementioned exhibitions, the firm showed at Paris in 1855, London again in 1862, and Paris again in 1878. The firm's prize-winning Louis XVI style cabinet from the 1855 Paris exhibition was purchased by the Nation in the same year for £2,000 and is preserved in the collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (No. 7247:1 to 13-1860).
The Christie’s catalogue entry from 1981 lists ‘Siegfried Sassoon Esq.’ in the provenance. Tantalisingly, we are unable to confirm whether this relates to the lauded war poet Siegfried Sassoon (1886-1967), although he is a likely candidate being a member of the powerful Sassoon dynasty who would certainly have been in a position to acquire furniture of this calibre in the later part of the 19th century.
 The Art Journal, 1867, p. 7
 The Art Journal, 1871, p. 81
 Aslin, E., 19th Century English Furniture, London, 1962, p. 41.
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