A library-chair of this form, but with serpentined legs, was popularised as the 'author's chair' of the poet John Gay (d. 1732), when it belonged to the architect George Godwin (d. 1888) (The Builder, 30 March 1878). The poet's chair has also been referred to as 'The Barnstaple Chair' (Illustrated London News, London, 1849, vol. 15, pt. 2, p. 284; and C. Graham, Ceremonial Chairs in Great Britain, Avon, 1994, p. 91, fig. 111). Another chair of the present pattern was formerly in the collection of The Earl of Buckingham, sold by his Executors, Sotheby's London, 25 October 1963, lot 138.
A very similar chair, but without the hinged book-rest on the back, was sold from the collection of the late Lore and Rudolph Heinemann, Christie's New York, 17 October 1997, lot 334; and again on Christie's London, 22 April 2004, lot 62.