This Ionic-scrolled chair celebrates Venus, the nature deity's triumph with her 'shell' cartouches borne amongst wavy reed-tied Roman foliage. Its French 'picturesque' form derives from the Louis XV 'fauteuil' of the 1730s as featured in the engraved Oeuvres of Juste-Aurele Meissonnier (d. 1750) (M. Jarry, Le Siege Francais, Fribourg, 1973, D.27). Such 'French Chairs' in the 'Modern' style were popularised by Thomas Chippendale's Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director, 1754. The Francophile 4th Duke of Bedford commissioned 'French' chairs from the Covent Garden chair-maker John Bladwell (d. 1768) in 1752 and Bladwell has been credited with the execution of related frames for Danthon's 'Aesop's Fable' tapestries woven in the late 1750s and supplied for Uppark, Hampshire (Exhibition Catalogue, Rococo: Art and Design in Hogarth's England, London, 1984, L29).
A chair of this pattern, with closely related carved details, was sold anonymously, in these Rooms, 3 July 1997, lot 88 (£38,900).