These caned Regency bergeres, attributed to the renowned cabinet-makers Gillows of Lancaster & London, are designed in the early 19th century French 'Antique' manner, and with their curved toprail, hollowed backs and Grecian splayed back legs they relate to seat patterns in George Smith's Collection of Designs for Household Furniture and Interior Decoration, 1808.
A similar Gillows armchair with splayed front and back legs supplied in May 1824 to Rev. Manby is illustrated in Gillows' Estimate Sketch Book for 1822-30, no. 3349, 24 May 1824 (Westminster City Archives, 344/101-102). A closely related chair with a leather drop-in cushion is featured in Margaret Jourdain, Regency Furniture, 1965, p. 54, fig. 95, formerly in the possession of the antique dealer, M. Harris & Sons. A set of six similar chairs attributed to Gillows and almost certainly supplied to Henry Petty-Fitzmaurice, 3rd Marquess of Lansdowne (d. 1863) for Lansdowne House, London sold Christie's London, 'The Humphrey Whitbread Collection', 5 April 2001, lot 306 (£37,600 including premium). A closely related single chair, attributed to Gillows, sold Sotheby's 26 September 1997, lot 141, (£3,910 including premium). A pair in rosewood sold Christie's London, 'The Glory of Gillows & Fine English Furniture', 16 September 2004, lot 36 (£3,824 including premium) and another pair sold Christie's London, 20 September 2001, lot 110 (£9,987 including premium).
The stamped initials 'EL' and 'HH' possibly relate to individual journeymen who worked on this furniture. It was customary, particularly in the 19th century, for journeymen to use a metal stamp to distinguish their work in order to facilitate payment from the firm (Susan Stuart, Gillows of Lancaster and London 1730-1840, 2008, p. 96).