When sold in 1999, this sofa was part of a suite including medallion-backed cabriolet chairs, with patera-enriched frames and palm-wrapped arms. The suite relates to the antique fashion adopted in the 1780s by firms such as Gillows of London and Lancaster under guidance from architects such as James Wyatt (d. 1813), and later popularised by A. Hepplewhite & Co.'s The Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer's Guide, 1788.
A very similar suite of chairs and settees was sold anonymously, Sotheby's London, 16 July 1982, lot 117 and a further pair of chairs was sold by Mrs Janet Holmes à Court, Sotheby's London, 19 February 1993, lot 125.
Powerscourt, Co. Wicklow, is one of the most famous of all Irish country houses, built between 1731 and 1740 to designs by Richard Castle for the 1st Viscount Powerscourt. Also renowned for its gardens and demesne, sadly much of the house was destroyed by a disastrous fire in 1974.