The Coleridge family lived at The Chanter's House, Devon for over two centuries, having been there since 1796. A fine collection of paintings, books and furniture was amassed during the family's lengthy ownership. Associations with the romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834), were collected by later generations of the family, such as a chalk portrait drawing of him by George Dawe RA, a lock of his hair and Joseph Severn's monumental depiction of 'The Ancient Mariner', the poem Coleridge had published in Lyrical Ballads in 1798.
John Duke, 1st Baron Coleridge of Ottery St. Mary commisioned William Butterfield (1814-90) to remodel and extend The Chanter's House as one of his most distinguished works. Butterfield's design displayed the 'masculine severity' that the patron had long admired in his friend's work. Of the few parts of the house to remain unaltered during Butterfield's reworking was the dining-room, in which the current lot was situated until recently. This room was also known from the days of the Protectorate as the Convention Room, as it was where Cromwell and Fairfax had met in 1645 to discuss the progress of the war in the West.