Chairs of this pattern are associated with the furnishing of Foremark Hall, Derbyshire for Sir Robert Burdett, 4th Bt. (d. 1797), undertaken by Thomas Chippendale (d. 1779) in the 1760s. Chippendale's invoices to Burdett totalled in excess of £500 between 1766-1774. Unfortunately, they are for largely unspecified items. Another pair of chairs of the same pattern, formerly belonging to the Frewen family of Brickwall, Sussex, was sold by the late Samuel Messer, Christie's, London, 5 December 1991, lot 60.
Of the surviving Chippendale invoices relating to the Foremark commission, this armchair may be associated with a 1766 invoice, which specified chairs, although the total number and their pattern is not detailed:
'Feb. 17th To Mr Chippendale cabbenet Maker for chairs for the Country .... 37.4.0.' (Berkshire RO, re: Foremark Hall).
The set of fourteen armchairs supplied by Chippendale to William, 5th Earl of Dumfries, for Dumfries House, Ayrshire, was invoiced on 5 May 1759 at a total cost of £63 or £4. 6s per chair.
This comfortable French-fashioned 'easy chair' reflects the George II 'Modern' style popularised by Thomas Chippendale's, Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker'’s Director, 1754. Its elegant serpentine form, with cupid-bow cresting, may have been further enhanced by brass-nailed upholstery being arched in tufts or buttons. It may also have been upholstered in damask, whose pattern harmonised with the Roman foliage that is sculpted in bas-relief on its wave-voluted arms and legs. These reed-banded and Roman-truss scrolled pilasters are raised on reed-gadrooned and shell-scalloped plinths; and are further enriched incised, like the hollowed arm-pilasters, with incised pearled-flutes and gothic-cusped tablets.
The furniture at Foremark was removed in the 20th century to Ramsbury Manor, Wiltshire. Chairs of this exact model were sold from Ramsbury at Dreweatt Neate's in 1986.