The chairs correspond to a design for Dining and Drawing Room Chairs from Ackermann’s Repository, vol. XIV, October 1815, p. 21, and demonstrate the continuing appetite for Regency-styled furnishings throughout the 19th century. In the manner of Gillow of Lancaster and London the armchairs were formerly in the ‘new’ Custom House, Liverpool, constructed between 1828 and 1835 on the site of the old dock at Canning Place. The architect, John Foster (d. 1846), served as a pupil in the office of Jeffry Wyatt (later Sir Jeffry Wyatville) in Lower Brook Street, Mayfair, and in 1809 travelled extensively throughout Greece with fellow architect and writer, C.R. Cockerell. His training, therefore, and subsequent architectural designs, exemplified by the Custom House, display the influence of the sobre and scholarly Greek style. In 1836, an application was submitted by Foster to undertake the entire supervision of fittings of the Custom House for 2.5% on the costs, and given his preference for the Greek revival it is entirely feasible he commissioned this pattern of chair, a successor to the ‘antique’ klismos chair made fashionable by the publication in 1807 of Thomas Hope’s Household Furniture & Interior Decoration, from a local firm such as Gillows of Lancaster and London (E. Hardwicke Rideout, The Custom House Liverpool, Liverpool, 1928, p. 83).