This 'Apollo' library-chair is conceived in the richly sculpted antique fashion promoted by George IV, as Prince of Wales, and by the connoisseur Thomas Hope (d.1831) through their patronage of the Rome-trained architect Charles Heathcote Tatham (d.1842). Its golden monopodia of winged-lion griffin derive from a marble antiquity acquired in the 1790s by Tatham (see C.H. Tatham, Etchings Representing the Best Examples of Ancient Ornamental Architecture, London, 1799). On this Grecian seat, such ornaments serve to recall the triumphal Mt. Parnassus chariot adopted by Apollo as poetry deity whose sacred sunflower enriches its scrolled tablet back, while its lyre form corresponds to the 'Apollo's Chair' pattern popularised by Thomas Sheraton's Encyclopaedia, 1804-7 (pl. 10). Prince George's 'Upholder Extraordinary' George Smith introduced the 'Tatham griffin' pattern in a 'Library Chair' pattern that he engraved in 1805 for A Collection of Designs for Household Furniture and Interior Decoration, London, 1808 (pl. 46).
This chair possibly belonged to the collection assembled around 1930 at the Crawford Street home of the fashionable architect and furniture designer Harry Stuart Goodhart Rendel (d.1959) and may be the chair illustrated in situ by C. Hussey, 'Four Regency Homes', Country Life, 1931, p. 454, fig. 10). Goodhart Rendel also owned a second chair of closely related pattern, illustrated by R. Edwards, in The Shorter Dictionary of English Furniture, London, 1964 (p.165, fig. 198); and by M. Jourdain in Regency Furniture, rev. ed., London, 1965, fig. 82.