Gillows' design for these diamond or lozenge pattern chairs, referred to as 'Garforth's pattern', dates from 1795 and was drawn again in 1798. They were probably an adaptation of Georges Jacob's design of circa 1792 for Marie-Antoinette's dairy at Rambouillet. Gillows made the chairs not only in mahogany, but also japanned and they appear to have been particularly popular among the gentry, professional and merchant classes in the north of England. In 1796 the Earl of Strafford purchased six white and green japanned chairs for Wentworth Woodhouse while Sir William Gerard ordered thirty-six mahogany chairs for Garswood New Hall, Lancashire. While the design featured a round or 'compass-fronted' seat, they were also made with a more conventional square seat. A set of fourteen chairs of this pattern with square seats are illustrated in S.Stuart, Gillows of Lancaster and London 1730-1840, Woodbridge, 2008, p.195, pl.166, while another set of eight chairs were sold anonymously Christie's, London, 19 November 1992, lot 39. The reeded leg and cruciform stretcher was also characteristic of Gillows and featured on a set of twelve chairs almost certainly made by Gillows for Robert Peel in 1797 for Drayton Manor, Tamworth, and sold anonymously Christie's, London, September 16, 2004, lot 30. These chairs, in common with the present lot, utilised the deep oak rear corner struts beneath the seat.
The design relates closely to the set of twenty 'mahogany trellis chairs' supplied by the cabinet-maker David Bruce (d.1823) of Aldersgate Street, London, for the Governor's Room at the Bank of England, The design of that set is often associated with Sir John Soane (d.1837) because of his role as architect to the Bank of England from 1788 to 1833 and because he owned a pair of armchairs which are still in the Soane Museum (see P.Macquoid and R.Edwards, The Dictionary of English Furniture, London, Rev. ed. 1954, vol.I, p.307, fig.264, and Helen Dorey, A Catalogue of the Furniture at Sir John Soane's Museum, Furniture History, vol. XLIV, 2008, PP.44-47, Cats 19 and 20 and fig.17).