This stand, with its veiled and bejewelled vestal-heads was probably originally conceived as a support for a library-globe or orrery. The immense production of globes, orreries and scientific instruments during the Georgian period reflected this necessary component of a gentleman's education and is illustrated in the variety of stands that were produced. An armillary sphere on a tripod stand once in the collection of the connoisseur Percival D. Griffiths and now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London is illustrated in P.Macquoid and R.Edwards, eds., The Dictionary of English Furniture, rev.edn., London, 1954, vol.II, p.246, fig.7. Another orrery, enclosed within a glazed mahogany case, on similar stand is, at All Souls College, Oxford University (illustrated op.cit., p.247, fig.10).
Similar vestal-heads feature on a suite of chairs in the collection of the Duke of Buccleuch at Drumlanrig Castle, Dumfries, Scotland (illustrated in P.Macquoid and R.Edwards, ibid, vol.I, col.pl.XV), a related bergere probably supplied to Sir Basil Dixwell, Bt. (d.1750) for Broome Park, Kent and sold anonymously at Christie's London, 13 November 1997, lot 129 (photographed in situ in the Entrance Hall of Broome Park in C.Latham, In English Homes, London, 1909, vol.III, p.100), and a further suite of seat-furniture supplied to Hall, Barnstaple, Devon, sold Sotheby's house sale, 11 November 1996, lot 53.