This was originally part of a collection of chairs formed by Frederick Parker (d. 1927), whose firm of furniture makers became one of the most famous in furniture history, Parker Knoll Ltd. Established in 1869, the firm offered a huge range of reproduction and contemporary furniture. A key to this success was Parker's own antique collection, which included some three hundred chairs, and was amassed during the early decades of the 20th Century. The collection served as an invaluable and unusual working source for the craftsmen and designers of the firm, enabling them to reproduce specific items and learn historic techniques of construction. The Parker Knoll records state that the sofa was in stock August 1913, and was valued at £50.
In 1942 Frederick Parker & Sons became Parker Knoll Ltd. The emphasis shifted to modern seat furniture and the collection ceased to have an active function. The Frederick Parker Foundation was established as a charitable trust when Cornwell Parker plc decided to sell the collection. A solution was found when Sir David Alliance purchased the collection in 1998 and gave the trustees the opportunity to secure funding to acquire a portion of the collection, which continues to be used as an educational resource. Much of the remaining part of the collection was sold in these Rooms, 24 September 1998 (lots 221-350).
An identical example was sold anonymously, Sotheby's London, 20 September 1991, lot 105.