The chairs' picturesque style relates to that featured in Thomas Chippendale's shop-sign, when he opened his St Martin's Lane workshops in the early 1750s, and to a 'French Chair' pattern engraved in 1753 for his The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director, 1754. The latter's upholstery depicts Chinese Garden vignettes in the fashion popularised through engravings published by one of Chippendale's collaborators, the specialist carver Matthias Darly (d. 1765). These chairs, conceived in Chippendale's 'picturesque' manner, have their serpentined frames enriched with husk-festooned Roman acanthus, while their 'Cupid's bow' crests are hollowed and shell-scalloped beneath fretted cartouches whose embossments serve like a triumphal love trophy, by recalling 'Cupid's target'. Further target embossments, as Chippendale called them, are displayed on the arms and legs, whose voluted trusses evolved from the Roman fashion introduced the previous century by the court architect Inigo Jones (d. 1652). Such targets also feature in his highly popular 'new-pattern' parlour chair illustrated in both the 1754 (pl. XII) and 1762 (pl. XIII) editions of his Director, and the target displayed in an open fret above a scalloped lambrequin features in his 1759 bed pattern illustrated in the later edition (pl. XXXIX).
In particular their same arm pattern features on the similarly styled Coronation throne that was commissioned in 176l for George III, and whose cresting displays the King's cypher on an embossed cartouche. The throne was executed at the Strand workshops of Katherine Naish, who had inherited the court chair manufactory established by her father Henry Williams (d. 1759). The throne was upholstered by Messrs Vile and Cobb, who were Chippendale's neighbours in St. Martin's Lane (see H. Roberts 'Royal Thrones, l760-l840', Furniture History, 1989, p. 78, fig. 1).
The chairs may have been commissioned by John Bury, who inherited the estate of Redwood, Co. Offaly in l764 and in the same year entertained the 2nd Earl of Northumberland, who served as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. A pair of armchairs from this suite, upholstered in needlework with the cypher 'C' ensigned with the Earl's coronet, was at one time at Charleville Forest, Ireland in the possession of Colonel C.K. Howard-Bury (d. 1963) (see M. Girouard, Town and Country, London, 1992, p. 114). The latter are likely to have formed part of the set of four armchairs sold by Rex Beaumont, Esq., Belvedere House, Mullingar, Co. Westmeath, in these Rooms, 23 November 1967, lot 105. A pair of fruitwood armchairs of closely related pattern and reputedly supplied to Lord Clive for Walcot, Shropshire was sold anonymously, Christie's New York, 13 April 2000, lot 93.