Designed in the George IV 'Old English' style, this library chair derives from a George II chair at Boyton House, Wiltshire (P. Macquoid and R. Edwards, The Dictionary of English Furniture, 1927, vol. I, p. 237, fig. 91). This pattern of chair was revived in the early part of the nineteenth century and, while executed in a variety of woods - including mahogany, walnut, yew and elm, yew-tree versions were manufactured by Gillows and are listed in the Estimate Sketch Book of 1827 (see Gillow Archives, Westminster City Archives, E.S. 3603). The pattern chair in the Estimate Sketch Book was also executed by Robert Lawson, as was this chair, in that case made in yew. The paw feet and knees were carved by a carver named Rigby, suggesting a high degree of specialisation in Gillows working practices, and a comparably great expense.
The full cost of the pattern chair is detailed as follows:
June 13 1827
10¾ ft in reduced yew tree @2/- £1 1s 6d
2¾ ft ...yew tree & fine mottled veneer back @4/- 11s
... ft yew tree veneer rails @ 1/4 1s 8d
1/2ft 3/4 yew tree molding top of seat rails @2/- 1s
1½ft 1¾ Oak rails @1/10 2s 9d
1¾ ft in Deal loose seat @4½ 7¾d
Glue, Screws and Brackets 5s
Making by Robert Lawson £2 2s 0d
French polishing 9s 6d
Carving front feet and Knees by Rigby £1 0s 0d
TOTAL £5 5s 0d
A similar pair of stamped chairs made in yew was sold anonymously Christie's, New York, 22 April 1989, lot 69.