The chair's richly-carved back reflects the old English style introduced around 1800 by the Wyatt architectural dynasty at George IV's Carlton House palace. The gothic-arcaded pattern, with its cusped arches, quatrefoiled rose and monkey-carved cresting, derives from one invented in 1801 by Gillows of Lancaster. The pattern demonstrates their close working relationship with the Wyatts, and was executed for the set of twenty-six chairs supplied for the Grand Jury Room of the Shire Hall at Lancaster Castle. The style harmonised with the Hall's gothic architecture by Joseph Gandy (d. 1834) who had previously served as an architectural draughtsman in Sir John Soane's office, having started his architectural career with encouragement from James Wyatt (d. 1813). Gillows' design features in their Estimate Sketch Book, dated 11 March 1801. It was a popular pattern and was reworked in 1872 when a further six were supplied for Lancaster Castle (S. Stuart, 'Three Generations of Gothic Chairs by Gillows', Furniture History, 1996, figs. 6 and 11).
A pair of chairs of very similar design, but with cluster-column legs and no stretchers, was sold anonymously, Christie's, London, 14 September 2000, lot 197. They were stamped 'GILLOWS LANCASTER'.
An armchair of nearly identical design is illustrated in P. MacQuoid and R. Edwards, The Dictionary of English Furniture, rev. edn., London, 1954, vol. I, p.309, fig. 271.