These antiquarian sofas, upholstered in the French fashion, are likely to have been commissioned by Hayes St. Leger, 3rd Viscount Doneraile (d. 1854) around the time of his 1819 inheritance of Doneraile Court, Co. Cork. Their robust Grecian-scrolled frames are flowered with Apollonian palm bas-reliefs; while the tapered columnar legs are wreathed in Elizabethan or gothic fashion with serpentined reeds as popularised by a chair-pattern in R. Ackermann's Repository of Arts, 1806.
Although improvements had been carried out at Doneraile for the 2nd Viscount, including a surviving invoice for seat-furniture supplied in 1801 by Messrs. Oakley, Shackleton & Evans, a disastrous fire in 1805 destroyed the majority of the Regency interiors. These settees originally formed part of an extensive suite supplied as part of the refurbishment and aggrandisement of Doneraile in the 1820s. The robust character of this suite recalls the work of James Del Vecchio and his son, James of Dublin. The Del Vecchios were carvers, gilders, looking glass sellers and composition ornament manufacturers and are recorded at 26 Westmorland Street, Dublin between 1806 and 1846. The family originally hailed from Maltrasio in Italy.
A pair of bergeres and matching sofa from the Doneraile suite was sold by David Style, Esq., Wateringbury Place, Maidstone, Kent, Christie's House sale, 31st May 1978, lot 273. Interestingly these were inscribed to the seat-rail in ink 'P. Gardner' and 'Young' - presumably the journeyman chairmaker's responsible for the frames.