This hall-stool pattern is conceived in the George II antique French 'picturesque' fashion to evoke an ancient folding and leather-covered seat. It is apparently identical to an extensive suite thought to have been commissioned by William Bouverie (d.1776) for Coleshill House, Berkshire or Longford Castle, Wiltshire. There are some variations within this long suite - and whilst some of the 'Coleshill' stools display the arms borne by his father Jacob Bouverie and his wife Elizabeth before his advancement to the title of Viscount Folkestone in 1747, others are embellished with an Earl's Coronet following his son William's elevation as Earl of Radnor in 1765 (R. Edwards, Shorter Dictionary of English Furniture, London, 1964, p. 510, fig. 55). In that this model of stool stylictically dates to the early 1760s, it seems probable that the 'antiquarian' painted armorial of Jacob Bouverie was therefore commissioned by a dutiful and respectful son celebrating his father's achievements.
A pair of these stools, painted with the Bouverie arms surmounted by an Earl's coronet suggesting a date after 1767 was sold by the late Miss M. de Pleydell-Bouverie at Christie's London, 25 November 1965, lot 35 and were subsequently sold from the collection of Bill Blass. A further variant with carved Radnor crest was formerly owned by David Pleydell-Bouverie (sold Christie's New York, 16 April 2002, lot 90).
Arguably the most mourned Restoration house, Coleshill House in Berkshire was designed by Sir Roger Pratt for his cousin Sir George Pratt and completed in 1662. From 1728-1768 it was the seat of his great-great-grandson Sir Mark Pleydell, at whose death the estate passed to his grandson, the son of his daughter Harriet and William Bouverie, 1st Earl of Radnor; following this marriage in 1747/8 their surname was joined as Pleydell-Bouverie. Coleshill was tragically destroyed by fire in 1953.
This model of stool can be seen as a 'modern' form of sgabello hall-seat of 16th Century Italian form that had been popularised by antiquarians through association with the old 'British Roman ' style of Inigo Jones (d.1652). Amongst the closest engraved stool patterns is that intended to accompany a lady's dressing-table, published in Robert Manwaring's Cabinet and Chair-Maker's Real Friend and Companion, 1765 (pl. 18). Although no cabinet-maker is documented for Coleshill, interestingly Thomas Chippendale is known to have supplied the majority of a set of twenty-four related stools for the Library at Christ Church, Oxford in 1764 (C.Gilbert, The Life and Work of Thomas Chippendale, London, 1978, vol.II, p.213, fig.386). Others of this form were supplied to the Divinity Schools at the Bodleian Library and the Old Radcliffe Observatory at Oxford.