Probably a commissioned piece, for an astute individual who wanted a small (36 in.) Queen Anne style desk with a fully-developed, entirely removable amphitheater interior offering 39 visible drawers, a recessed well, and 2 cleverly conceived hiding places with additional hidden drawers.
We don't like to use the term "China Trade" because we do not believe this was made on speculation for some future buyer. It is a highly customized piece which was most likely made to order, i.e. for a ranking sea captain and/or his patron, as it, no doubt, was quite costly to produce. Also, the design is quite exceptional, with every piece of the interior removable. (See image). Under the desk well are interesting secret places (see images) and behind the prospect door are little boxes that come out, I imagine, for putting coins or gold.
As far as the woods are concerned, we were quite surprised at seeing quartered oak. (which we expect in an English piece, that type of wood not found in the Pacific). Also, the use of mahogany and not the more local hardwoods available, i.e. paduk. Consequently, we feel this desk is quite an exceptional treasure and with its small size (36 in.), is quite functional and compact. It is true to the Queen Anne construction style throughout.
The locks are all original, and quite large in size. All the brasses are original.
Height: 42 in. Width: 36 1/2 in. Depth: 22 1/4 in.