These bergeres and the settee in the following lot are reputed to have been in the collection of Robert Clive, 1st Baron Clive of Plassey ('Clive of India') in his principal home Walcot in Shropshire. Many avenues have been pursued to try to confirm this provenance but these leads have not produced firm evidence by way of inventories or sale entries. While many suites of this general form appear in the sale of the effects of Walcot sold by Harrods, 22-26 July 1929, these cannot be identified with certainty. The suite does not appear in the Christie's sale of the 1st Lord Clive's Berkeley Square house, 7 May 1936. While discouraging, the Clive properties were many and their furnishings difficult to trace as there was frequent movement between the various houses, particularly throughout the nineteenth century, including their Berkeley Square, London home as well as Powis Castle in Wales, and Styche, Claremont and Oakley Park in Shropshire. In fact, an impressive George II giltwood suite of about the same date was moved from 45 Berkeley Square to Powis sometime in the nineteenth century (the suite was offered at Sotheby's New York, 1 November 1985, lot 267). Oakley was apparently Lady Clive's favorite house, having come into the family when their son married Lord Powis's niece in 1784. It was here where Lady Clive died in 1817, but frustratingly no inventories appear to have been drawn up at the time of her death. The house now belongs to the Earl of Plymouth, whose forbears inherited it through marriage in the 19th century (see 'Oakley Park, Shropshire, Country Life, 22 March 1990, pp.152-159).
Both bergeres and the settee compare closely to a suite of seat-furniture supplied by cabinet-maker William Hallett (d.1781) for Arthur, 6th Viscount Irwin in 1735 for his London house. The suite, comprising twelve chairs and a settee were removed to his country seat, Temple Newsam in Yorkshire, where they remained until the 1922 sale. The Hallett suite, for which the invoice survives in the Temple Newsam archives, was executed in walnut and featured ring-turned ankles. The suite was later sold, the property of a Gentleman, Christie's London, 29 June 1978, lot 19.