This set of six arm chairs presumably comes from a set of 24 armchairs made by Henry Connelly (1770-1826) for Mayor Thomas Willing (1731-1821) of Philadelphia in 1804. The Connelly chairs are derived from the pattern for "Parlour Chairs" from Thomas Sheraton's seminal The Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer's Drawing Book (London, 1793), pl. 33 (fig.1). For other chairs from this set, see James Biddle, American Art from American Collections (New York, 1963), p. 15; Sotheby's, New York, The Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Walter M. Jeffords, vol. II, 28-29 October 2004, lot 293; Christie's, New York, The Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Bertram D. Coleman, 16 January 1998, lot 265; Christie's, New York, 21-22, 25 January 2010, lot 274.
The carving and turned legs with reeded details and bulbous feet recall the Connelly labeled kidney-shaped sideboard dated 1806 at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. These chairs also relate to a famous set of ebony seating made by Connelly's contemporary, Ephraim Haines (1775-1837) and commissioned by Stephen Girard in 1806-1807. James Biddle suggests that the nearly identical carving on both sets could be by the hand of John R. Morris (Biddle, p. 15).