This armchair was almost certainly commissioned by the diplomat and politician Robert Darcy, 4th Earl of Holderness (1718-1778) as part of his refurbishment of Hornby Castle during the late 1750s. Holderness was an early patron of Samuel Norman (d.1759), cabinet-makers, carvers and gilders of St. Andrews Street, Soho, from 1755. Another likely maker is Paul Saunders, who received large payments from the 4th Earl for his work at Holderness (later Londonderry) House, Old Park Lane from 1754-58. The furniture may have been transferred to Hornby after the London house was sold to Lord Londonderry in 1819. The chair bears a marked resemblance to furniture supplied by Saunders for Holkham (see R. Edwards, The Shorter Dictionary of English Furniture, London, 1964, p. 144, fig. 108). Hornby Castle was sold by the 11th Duke of Leeds in 1930 and a six-day sale of the contents ensued. The castle was demolished that same year; the chairs were not included in this sale.
A gilt-embellished easy chair from Hornby of a related design ('from the same set') is illustrated in P. Macquoid and R. Edwards, op. cit., fig. 133 and later sold in 'Simon Sainsbury: The Creation of an English Arcadia', Christie', London, 18 June 2008, lot 48.