Chairs of virtually the same model were exhibited in The International Art Treasures Exhibition C.I.N.O.A, Bath, 1973 illustrated in the catalogue no. 74, pl. 101 and at The Grand Gallery at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1975, illustrated p. 220, fig. 215. Although there appears to be no surviving engraved source for this specific chair-back design, very similar chairs with slight variations have been recorded in designs by James Wyatt (d.1813) and bear similarities to Hepplewhite designs as discussed in R. Edwards, The Shorter Dictionary of English Furniture, London, 1977, p.157, fig. 160.
The related 1778 design by James Wyatt with annotations by the Marquis de Marigny (d.1781) is held by Bibliothèque Jacques Doucet, Société des Amis de la Bibliothèque d'art et d'archéologie. The brother of King Louis XV's mistress Madame de Pompadour, the Marquis and rose to the role of Directeur des Bâtiments du Roi (Director General of the King's Buildings). He was educated by Charles Antoine Coypel, first painter to the king, and his appreciation for the arts developed, later enabling him to influence and guide the artistic tastes of France. The Marquis seems had a special interest and taste for English furniture and records show in the late 1770s, Wyatt's name was associated with an order for some 108 armchairs and sixty side chairs of a related pattern for the Marquis, who upon his retirement from the King's service was furnishing his Paris hôtel in the English manner, see A. Gordon, 'The Marquis de Marigny's Purchase of English Furniture and Objects', Furniture History, 1989, pp. 86-108.
Wyatt had a close working relationship with the London and Lancaster cabinet-makers Messrs. Gillow, who were reproducing and reinterpreting his designs alongside those of Hepplewhite, a well-established cabinet-maker known for his elegant yet light-weight furniture and whose designs were published in Messrs. A. Hepplewhite & Co.'s The Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer's Guide, 1778.
THE COLLECTIONS OF THE MOLLER BROTHERS
Eric and Ralph Moller were both eminent collectors of English furniture. Eric, in the 1940s and 1950s formed a celebrated collection of at Thorncombe Park, Surrey, the majority of which was sold Sotheby's, London, 18 November 1993. This was just one of several collections created under the expert guidance of the furniture historian R.W Symonds which also provided the basis for his book Furniture-Making in 17th and 18th Century England, 1955, although the present chairs were not illustrated.
A set of ten almost identical armchairs formerly in the collection of Mrs. A.E. Roach was sold Christie's, London, 29 November 2001, lot 110 (£102,750 including premium).