This armchair can be firmly attributed to the workshop of cabinet-maker Giles Grendey (1693-1780), of St. Johns Square, Clerkenwell, London, based on virtually identical chairs that bear his workshop's label. This includes a suite with the same characteristic hipped cabriole legs, carved with knees and scrolled feet from Gunton Park, Norfolk (a side chair and armchair are illustrated in P. Macquoid, A History of English Furniture: The Age of Mahogany, London, 1906, vol.II, pp. 122-123, figs. 104, 105 and in C. Gilbert, Pictorial Dictionary of Marked London Furniture 1700-1840, London, 1996, p. 243, fig. 437).
Other chairs of virtually this exact model and featuring the same hairy paw feet include: a library chair from the collection of Percival D. Griffiths, Esq. illustrated in H. Cescinsky, English Furniture of the Eighteenth Century, vol.II, New York, n.d.,p. 86, fig 32 (with apparently uncarved back legs), another in the collection of the Hon. Sir John H. Ward., K.C.V.O., The Connoisseur, March 1921, p. 142, no. V; and a pair sold anonymously, Sotheby's London, 15 November 1985, lots 43 and 44. A further chair is illustrated in F.L. Hinckley, Metropolitan Furniture of the Georgian Years, New York, 1988, p. 69, fig. 79.
The stamp 'WH' is probably for William House, employed by Grendey from April 14, 1747 (G. Beard and C. Gilbert, eds., Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1660-1840, 1986, pp. 371-372). A number of chairs from Grendey's workshop bear the stamp of his journeymen. The resemblance of such pieces to provenanced examples of Grendey's work has been convincingly used to attribute furniture to the master. A pair of side chairs of a known Grendey model also stamped WH was sold, Christie's New York, 9 October 1993, lot 354.