These chairs are part of a set of eight. This pair of chairs were retained by the family but the other six were sold from Ditchley by the Executors of Harold Arthur, 17th Viscount Dillon, C.H., Sotheby's London, 26 May 1933, lot 145. They were subsequently sold by Lady Anne Tree, in these Rooms, 23 May 1968, lot 114 and again, in these Rooms, 27 June 1985, lot 184.
The set of eight were commissioned by the 2nd Earl of Lichfield (d. 1741) for Ditchley Park, Oxfordshire. They were designed under the direction of his architect Henry Flitcroft (d. 1769) to harmonise with the Palladian or Roman architecture of the state apartments, whose banqueting-hall ceiling featured 'A Council of the Gods' painted by the artist/architect William Kent (d. 1748). The stucco spandrels of this trompe l'oeil occulus were embellished with festive bacchic lions emerging from roman foliage in the 'arabesque' manner. These gilded withdrawing-room chairs, described in the 1743 inventory as 'back-stools', were originally upholstered in crimson acanthus-scrolled damask and feature bacchic-lion monopodiae emerging from the acanthus foliage of their legs. The upholstered furniture for this tapestry-hung apartment has been credited to William Bradshaw (d. 1775), cabinet-maker, upholsterer and 'tapissier' of Greek Street, Soho, who acted as the Earl's upholsterer and in 1736 supplied related chairs for Chevening, Kent.