The library bergère chair is designed in the robust early 19th century fashion combining Grecian with Louis XIV ornamentation, popularised by T. King’s The Modern Style of Cabinet Work Exemplified (1835). Related furniture was supplied by Messrs. Banting, France & Co. in 1821 for Frederick William Hervey, 5th Earl and 1st Marquess of Bristol (d. 1859) at no. 6, St. James Square (J. Shurmer, Ickworth, 1998, p. 12). A closely related bergère sold Christie’s, London, 22 November 2006, lot 127, £22,800 (including premium). The present example bears a label, ‘removed from Eaton Hall…’, and interestingly, William France lists Lord Grosvenor of Eaton Hall in one of his early extant workbooks, ‘Journal B’, of commissions dating from May 1804 until 1811 (PRO LC 9/352).
The 1820s saw a period of aggrandisement and refurbishment at Eaton Hall, Cheshire commissioned by Robert, 2nd Earl Grosvenor (d. 1845), created 1st Marquess of Westminster in 1831. Two additional wings were added under the direction of the architect Benjamin Gummow, and in the same decade Lord Grosvenor was acquiring furniture and works of art from prestigious house sales. At the Wanstead sale in 1822 he acquired a George II giltwood side table (lot 27 or 28) (sold Christie’s, London, 7 July 2011, lot 51), and from Fonthill Abbey in 1823, he acquired an ormolu-mounted ebony and pietra dura side cabinet by Robert Hume. At the same time the architect William Porden was gothicising Eaton Hall. In addition to antique furniture Lord Grosvenor was undoubtedly acquiring contemporary pieces.