The Emperor cared about appearances and wanted his state apartments, demonstrating his power, to be richly decorated. It was quite otherwise with his private quarters, which he preferred relatively simple. Napoleon liked his furniture to be functional, which is why he liked desks. When he approved of a model, he would order copies for all of his residences, so that he did not have to change his habits. The desk from Saint Cloud was reproduced in a number of copies while Bonaparte was First Consul.
Ornamented with chased and gilded bronze details contrasting with the rich mahogany, as in these heads of Apollo covering the locks, it has all the characteristics of the imperial furniture of Malmaison and Fontainebleau.