This 'Apollo' library-chair is conceived in the richly sculpted antique fashion promoted by George IV, as Prince of Wales, and by the connoisseur Thomas Hope (d.1831) through their patronage of the Rome-trained architect Charles Heathcote Tatham (d.1842). Its golden monopodia of winged-lion griffin derive from a marble antiquity acquired in the 1790s by Tatham (see C.H. Tatham, Etchings Representing the Best Examples of Ancient Ornamental Architecture, London, 1799). On this Grecian seat, such ornaments serve to recall the triumphal Mt. Parnassus chariot adopted by Apollo as poetry deity whose sacred sunflower enriches its scrolled tablet back, while its lyre form corresponds to the 'Apollo's Chair' pattern popularised by Thomas Sheraton's Encyclopaedia, 1804-7 (pl. 10). Prince George's 'Upholder Extraordinary' George Smith introduced the 'Tatham griffin' pattern in a 'Library Chair' pattern that he engraved in 1805 for A Collection of Designs for Household Furniture and Interior Decoration, London, 1808 (pl. 46).
This chair possibly belonged to the collection assembled around 1930 at the Crawford Street home of the fashionable architect and furniture designer Harry Stuart Goodhart Rendel (d.1959) and may be the chair illustrated in situ by C. Hussey, 'Four Regency Homes', Country Life, 1931, p. 454, fig. 10). Goodhart Rendel was one of a distinguished group of collectors that also included the diplomat and architect Lord Gerald Wellesley, later 7th Duke of Wellington, Edward Knoblock and Sir Albert Richardson, responsible for a revival in popularity of the Regency during the inter-war years.