This armchair is designed in the magnificent Louis XIV or 'Old French' manner adopted by George IV for the State Drawing Room decoration at Windsor Castle. It relates to the seat furniture introduced by Nicholas Morel, cabinet-maker and upholsterer of Great Marlborough Street, who in 1827 was appointed the King's 'Upholsterer in Ordinary'. In 1830 Morel, in partnership with George Seddon (d. 1868) of Aldersgate Street, was employed by George Leveson-Gower, 2nd Marquess of Stafford and 1st Duke of Sutherland (d. 1833) to provide furniture for the Louis Quatorze rooms in his palatial house in St. James's, Stafford House, which had recently been built by the architect Benjamin Dean Wyatt for the King's brother Frederick Augustus, Duke of York and Albany (d. 1827). On the 30 March of that year, the firm invoiced the Duke for:
'2 elbow chairs in the style of Louis the 14th of fine mahogany highly polished with curved backs and elbows, sweeped rails and legs, moulded & enriched with finely carved foliage, flowers, cross leaves, scroll and shell centres etc. etc., gilt in the best manner in mat and burnished gold' (J. Yorke, 'The Furnishing of Stafford House by Nicholas Morel, 1828-1830', Furniture History, Leeds, 1996, p. 62).
This account could possibly apply to the present chair, whose pair is on loan from Stafford (now Lancaster) House to the Victoria and Albert Museum (illustrated in F. Collard, Regency Furniture, Woodbridge, 1987, p. 159).
A related bergère chair remains in situ and is illustrated in D. Pearce, London's Mansions, London, 1986 (fig. 155) while others can be seen in photographs of Stafford House taken in 1895 (J. Yorke, op.cit., p. 50 and 52, figs. 2,3 and 4). A related armchair was sold anonymously in these Rooms, 7 July 1994, lot 54.