Many details of this chair pattern -- its shield-form back, arm supports wrapped in acanthus above a distinctive tapering foliate clasp, patera block, rope-twist seatrail and foliate-headed leg -- correspond to a Gillows design of circa 1786 (reproduced in L. Boynton, (ed.), Gillow Furniture Designs 1760-1800, Royston, 1995, pl.267). A set of four chairs conforming to this design was sold in these Rooms, 22 April 1999, lot 75. One of these chairs bears the pencil inscription 'R Gillow'. The pencil inscription itself (usually that of a journeyman) is a feature often found on Gillows furniture but the Gillow name confirms attribution to this firm. The offered chair is unmistakably by the same maker as this pair.
The ram-headed arm-supports are unusual and cannot be identified with any other Gillows pattern. An elaborately carved pair of shield-back chairs from the collection of Judge Irwin Untermyer also feature carved rams' heads upon which the curved arm-supports rest (see Y. Hackenbroch,( ed.), English Furniture with some furniture of other countries in the Irwin Untermyer Collection, Cambridge, 1958, pl.128 and 130).