In England, the industry of Japanning on metal was based in Pontypool, Monmouthshire and later in Birmingham and Wolverhampton, where many firms practised this fashionable trade during the 18th and the first half of the 19th century. The chief material for such wares was tôle, but japanned wrought-iron was also produced, almost exclusively for furniture, which often also included tôle elements, as with the present chairs. Full-scale japanned metal furniture was rare in its time and is exceedingly scarce today. In fact, these chairs appear to be the only known example of their type. The only known example of a Pontypool dressing table with swinging glass mirror is in the collections of the Newport Museum and Art Gallery (illustrated W. D. John & A. Simcox, Pontypool and Usk Japanned Wares, Newport, Monmouthshire, 2nd ed. 1966, p. 63, pl. 20c). One of the firms most reknowned for their japanned work, principally on papier-mâché, but including metalwork, was Jennens & Betteridge, who took over Henry Clay's Birmingham workshops in 1816 and remained in business until at least the late 1860s, Jennens having died in 1864, and Betteridge having sent a seclection of their wares to the Paris Exposition of 1867.