Schzoom, I’m still pondering the possibility that it might be the top portion of a 2-piece unit. I say that because of the drawer at the bottom, which if the unit is placed on the floor makes it quite unhandy and awkward to open & close …… and especially when inserting and retrieving papers & things one normally places in a drawer of that depth.
Thus, given the dimensions of 51" (wide) x 60 1/2 (h) x 17 1/2 (deep) then my guess is originally there was a matching table (or desk) with a flat top measuring 51” – 52” wide and 30” +- deep …… and your piece would sit right on top of the table and there would be room for a writing/working area in front of the drawer.
Now I once had a similar 2-section piece, but primitive, which I called a Country Secretary.
Schzoom, I imagine the matching base for yours “got lost” along the way. Without the 2 pieces sitting side-by-side or one on top, the base would just be “another pretty table”. Just my opinion though.