In his 1930s inventory of furniture at Althorp, the 'curator' 7th Earl Spencer notes correspondence from Philip Hardwick to Frederick, 4th Earl Spencer on 4 November 1847: "I have this morning been to Mr. Wakeling, the upholsterer and examined the furniture which has been removed from the principal rooms of Spencer House - it is very fine old furniture - the carving of the large sofas very good, and also altho' it will require a good deal of repairing, yet it appears to me to be well worth doing. I received from Mr. Wakeling the enclosed estimate of repairing and regilding it, which amounts to £580. It is very difficult to form a judgement upon these estimates, but to have the furniture well done and restored in white & gold as it was formerly, it does not appear an excessive estimate altho' the amount is large."
The traces of white paint to the underside of the seat-rail - together with remains of an underframe for a new sprung seat and the consequential heightening above the front legs that this required - would appear to almost certainly date from Mr. Wakeling's intervention in 1847. It seems highly probable therefore that this settee was painted white and gold to correspond with the rest of the suite at this time - if not earlier - and this decoration has since been removed.
The use of both sabicu and lime on this suite is extremely unsusual - and perhaps underlines the involvement of a specalist carver more used to working in lime. But the use of both woods is consistent throughout the white-painted and giltwood suite - although elsewehere identified as Honduran mahogany rather than sabicu (S. Weber Soros (ed.), James "Athenian" Stuart: The Rediscovery of Antiquity, New Haven and London, 2006, p. 432, fig. 10-52, p. 446).