This 'Grecian' stool corresponds to examples supplied in 1812 by Gillows for Wilbraham Egerton at Tatton Park, Cheshire (see N. Goodison and J. Hardy, 'Gillows at Tatton Park', Furniture History, 1970, pl. 22). A pattern later featured in the firm's Estimate Sketch Book (no. 3568, dated 1827).
The stool bears the pencil inscription 'Fitzherbert'. It is conceivable that this may have been part of a commission for the influential diplomat, Alleyne Fitzherbert, 1st Baron St. Helens (d. 1839) of Tissington Hall, Derbyshire and Grafton Street, London. A newly discovered group of Gillows furniture associated with FitzHerbert was identified in Christie's recent catalogue 'Lord St. Helens & Sir William FitzHerbert', 22 January 2009, and appears to stylistically date from two phases, the first from around 1810-15 when this stool would have been produced. No entries survive to reveal whether the Gillows commission was originally for Lord St. Helens' London house in Grafton Street, or for Sir Henry FitzHerbert, who was his nephew and heir, at Tissington.