The Victoria and Albert Museum owns a chair (W.99-1978) that is apparently the pair to this, and has been reduced in the same way. That chair is reputed to have belonged to Mrs David Garrick (d.1823) and may conceivably have formed part of the furnishings of the Drury Lane theatre, which was taken over by David Garrick in 1747. Tradition suggests that the chair was rescued from the fire at the Drury Lane Theatre in 1810. Mrs Garrick is reputed to have then sold the V&A chair to Barry Sullivan (1824-1891), the famous Irish actor, but this is unlikely as he was born the year after her death. It was given to the Museum in 1978.
The artist-architect William Kent (d.1748) sketched the Countess of Burlington seated in a related chair, which was supplied in 1735 for her 'garden' parlour in the villa at Chiswick. That chair, wreathed by flowered ribbon-frets, corresponded to the room's pier-glasses. The pier-glasses were designed by Burlington himself and William Kent and were supplied that same year by John Boson (d.1743) (G.Worsley, 'Chiswick House', Country Life, 3 November 1994, p. 112). Lady Burlington's chair had been supplied by the Hart Street 'Upholder' Stephen Langley (d.1735). Their frames were described as having 'Key Work, Flowers, oak leaves, Acorns and other ornaments..' were upholstered in green damask that was fixed with 'Charriot Bullion nails double gilt with gold'. The rails fret-pattern corresponds to that featyred in a Roman chair-design by William Kent in John Vardy's Some designs of Mr Inigo Jones and Mr William Kent, 1744, pl. 43.
Apart from the chair in the Victoria and Albert Museum, the following chairs of this, or very closely related patterns, are known:
1. A chair in the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, no. 85.DA.120
2. A chair, possibly the same, sold anonymously, in these Rooms, 28 June 1984, lot 88.
3. A chair illustrated in E.T. Joy, The English Chair, 1967, figs. 35 and 36
4. A chair (with key-pattern seat-rail) sold by David Style, Esq., Wateringbury Place, Kent, Christie's house sale, 31 May - 2 June 1978, lot 213.
This chair has been regilded four times, and regessoed twice. The original scheme consisted of white chalk gesso, then water-gilding over two coats of clay - first a thin wash of yellow then a thicker layer of brown. The second scheme was oil-gilding, then two more of water-gilding (the latter in place for a long period). The final oil-gilding scheme was only applied on raised parts. A copy of the full gilding report is available on request.