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With their "Gothick" fenestration, cusped quatrefoil motifs and "Elizabethan" oak frames, these armchairs directly reflect the influence of the elegant Gothic style introduced at Windsor Castle by the architect James Wyatt (d.1813) for George, Prince Regent, later King George IV.
Whilst "Gothick" chairs were introduced by William Hallett for Horace Walpole at Strawberry Hill as early as the 1740s, these were ebonised in the Elizabethan taste. Subsequent "Gothick" pattterns for chairs, invariably executed in either mahogany or painted, emerged during the 1750s - such as those published by Thomas Chippendale in The Gentleman and Cabinet Maker's Director (1754), and by Robert Manwaring in The Cabinet and Chair-Maker's Real Friend and Companion (1765). Inevitably such a vocabulary of ornament found favour in the furnishings of follies, Gothick parlours and chapels. Amongst the best documented of the latter is the suite of eight armchairs and five chairback benches supplied by Mayhew and Ince for the Chapel at Burghley House, Lincolnshire in 1768 along with a further painted suite for the inner court. Interestingly, mahogany was chosen for the chapel chair frames even though the "antiquarian" panelling to the chapel itself was executed in oak. Similar adjoined quatrefoils within a panel to the top of the back can also be seen in the set of white-painted chairs at Audley End, Essex, which were supplied circa 1772, probably by John Hobcraft (M. Sutherill, "John Hobcraft and James Essex at Audley End, Essex", The Georgian Group Journal, Vol. IX, 1999, pp.17-25).
The use of oak for the frames of these chairs, however, reflects the progressive "antiquarian" sentiments of circa 1800, under the far-reaching influence of the Wyatt dynasty. James Wyatt had introduced Gothic ornament in oak at Windsor and Ashridge Park, Hertfordshire, and Jeffry Wyatt promoted similar sentiments at Endsleigh, Devon. But it was their cousin Edward Wyatt who invoiced the upholsterers and cabinet-makers Messrs. Newton & Son in July 1810 for the pattern for Gothic oak chairs that Newton subsequently supplied to the Earl of Breadalbane for Taymouth Castle, Perthshire (G. Elwood, James Newton', Furniture History society Journal, 1995, App. VII, fig.38).
Interestingly, the distinctive single Gothic panel to the front legs - as well as the concept of a waved ogee arch although as a side rail - can be seen in George Smith's design for Drawing Room Chairs and Backs published in 1807.