These impressive stools nearly precisely match the furniture supplied for James Brydges, 1st Duke of Chandos at Cannons in Middlesex which are attributed to the Royal cabinet-maker James Moore (d. 1726). ‘Princely Chandos’, as he was known, created a house that was so spectacularly extravagant it was lauded by Daniel Defoe as ‘the finest house in England’, and even now remains a source of much intrigue. Chandos, Queen Anne’s Paymaster-General under the Duke of Marlborough’s patronage, was one of the richest men of his day. He employed the finest artists and craftsmen in the building of Cannons including the Italian-trained architect, James Gibbs. It has been suggested that Gibbs had a hand in the design of the Chandos suite, but the execution was most certainly that of Moore, who worked with Gibbs and was both cabinet-maker to the King and Chandos’s patron, the Duke of Marlborough, extensively refurbishing Blenheim Palace (I. Caldwell, 'Moore at Blenheim', The Antique Collector, September 1991, pp. 80-83).
Its glamour shortlived, Cannons was demolished and the collection dispersed in 1747 after the death of its creator. Two Chandos chairs of this design, supplied for the Chapel at Cannons around the time of Brydges’s elevation to Duke in 1719, were most recently sold Christie’s, London, 8 June 2006, lot 50 (£960,000). Another of the same model at Cannons, from the Best Bedchamber and Dressing Room, was later acquired by the 1st Marquess of Cholmondeley for Houghton Hall, Norfolk; one pair from the Best Bedchamber was sold from Houghton at Christie’s, London, 8 December 1994, lot 135 (£881,500). A pair of ‘square stools’ remain at Grimsthorpe Castle, Lincolnshire, the ancestral home of his bride, Georgiana (d. 1838), daughter of the 3rd Duke of Ancaster.