This stool reflects the French/antique fashion promoted by George IV, when Prince of Wales, and by publications such as the court architect C. H. Tathams, Etchings Representing the Best Examples of Ancient Ornamental Architecture, London, 1799. Its arched and fluted pilasters are tied in Roman curule or folding-seat manner according to a pattern invented for the London mansion/museum which the connoisseur Thomas Hope (d.1831) aggrandised with Tathams assistance (see Household Furniture and Interior Decoration 1807, pl.20. no.5. The stool may possibly have been en suite with an arm-chair, formerly at West Dean Park before its presentation in 1971 by the Edward James Foundation to the Marine Pavilion, Brighton, as both items bear the journeyman's brand of B Harmer, who may have been in the employ of Messrs Marsh and Tatham (see C. Gilbert, Pictorial Dictionary of Marked London Furniture, Leeds, 1996, fig.474)
A versatile and prodigious chairmaker, Harmer's full identity remains unknown. His stamp appears on a number of highly fashionable chairs dating c.1800, including hall chairs at Petworth and a magnificent giltwood suite of dolphin seat-furniture attributed to Marsh and Tatham from Powderham Castle (sold Christie's, London, 5 December 1991, lots 222-223.).