The serpentined and gadrooned frames in the French manner relate to the 'cabriole' chair in Thomas Malton's Complete Treatise on Perspective, London, 1775, pl. XXXIII, fig. 131. A model of a similar form executed in mahogany and with cartouche-form backs have traditionally been associated with the work of John Cobb (d.1778) of St. Martin's Lane, 'upholsterer' to George III from 1761 in partnership with William Vile (d.1767). Related furniture was supplied at this period for Erddig, Denbighshire (J. Cragg, 'Room for improvement, the re-arrangement of room furnishings at Erddig', Apollo, April 2002, p. 38, fig. 4). Payments to John Cobb were made by Philip Yorke I of Erddig in 1770 (Erddig, Guide Book, 1978, p. 30). See lot 37 in this sale for a pair of chairs from this group and other references.
Another giltwood chair of this model and apparently from the same suite was sold, The Property of a Lady of Title, Christie's, London, 17 April 1997, lot 39.
These chairs once formed part of the collection of Kathryn (Kitty) Bache (1896-1983). Kathryn was the daughter of the Wall Street financier Jules Bache. Her father, aside from being tremendously successful in the business world (he controlled the stock brokerage house J. S. Bache & Co.), was also a celebrated art collector and philanthopist. In 1937, he opened his magnificent art collection to the public, and in 1943 gifted some of his works to the Detroit Institute of Arts. In 1944, he gave the remainder of his collection to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
In 1927, Kitty Bache became the third wife of Gilbert Miller (d. 1969), the Tony Award-winning American theatrical producer and son of English-born theatrical producer Henry Miller (d. 1926). Columbia University's Kathryn Bache Miller Theatre is named in her honor.