These library chairs, intended to be furnished with leather squab cushions, are notable examples of a highly fashionable pattern in the George II 'Chinese' manner. Their fretted-trellis backs derive from the type of patterns published in W. Halfpenny Twenty New Designs of Chinese Lattice (1750), E. Hoppus The Gentleman and Builder's Repository (1760) and J. Crunden and J. Morris The Carpenter's Companion for Chinese Railings and Gates (1765). The octagonal form of the central tablet is featured on a Chinese chair pattern in Chippendale's Director, 1754, pl.XXVII. Chippendale considered these chairs 'very proper for a Lady's Dressing-Room; especially if it is hung with India paper...They have commonly cane bottoms, with loose cushions'.
The chairs are closely related to the well-known set of chairs and matching window seat commissioned by the 4th Duke of Beaufort for Badminton House, Gloucester and still at the house (see P. Macquoid, The Age of Mahogany, London, 1906, p.258 pl.245).
A pair of chairs similar to the current lot although with more elaborate stretchers where sold anonymously in these Rooms, 19 October 2000, lot 102.