These chairs are virtually identical to the well-known set probably supplied by Giles Grendey for Henry Hoare at Stourhead, Wiltshire and illustrated in R. Macquoid and R. Edwards, The Dictionary of English Furniture, 1954, vol I, p.275, fig.154. The Stourhead chairs are also illustrated in situ in J.Fowler and J.Cornforth, English Decoration in the 18th Century, London, 1978, p.237, fig.205. Christopher Gilbert in 'A Chest of Drawers by Giles Grendey', Leeds Arts Calendar, no. 72 (1973), p.30,, says of those charis 'Between 1746 and 1756 he [Grendey] was paid £207.4.4 for furniture at Stourhead, including £64 for chairs on 29 April 1746. The well-known set of shell back chairs at Stourhead may, accordingly, be products of his workshop'. A chair of this model has carved seatrails which are similar to the apron on a labelled Grendey clothes press now at the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation (illustrated in G. Wills, English Furniture 1550-1760, 1971, p.229, fig.175).
The attribution to Grendey's workshop is further strengthened by the 'R' and 'TT' stamps on these chairs. A number of chairs from Grendey's workshop bear his journeymen's stamps. Among these, four walnut and parcel-gilt chairs of this precise design stamped 'R' and 'TT' were sold in these Rooms, 12 March 1983, lots 199 and 200. Ten chairs from the Arthur D. Leidesdorf collection were sold Sotheby & Co., London, 27-28 June 1974, lots 7-8, some also bearing the 'R' and 'TT' stamps (two of these were subsequently sold in these Rooms, 17 October 1981, lot 201). Eight scarlet lacquer side chairs, part of the celebrated commission supplied by Grendey to the Duke of Infantado, included three chairs stamped 'TT' as sold in these Rooms, 2 February 1980.
A group of chairs of this pattern can be seen in situ in the Dining-room at Brocket Hall, Hertfordshire, illustrated in H. Avray Tipping, English Homes, London, 1926, Period VI, vol. 1, p. 9, fig. 12. Another chair of this pattern in walnut is illustrated in L.Synge, Mallett Millennium, London, 1999, p.55, fig.51.