The chairs can probably be attributed to the workshop of royal cabinet-makers Thomas and Richard Roberts working 'at the sign of the Royal Chair' in Marleybone Street. Richard Roberts (active 1714-29), almost certainly the son of Thomas, was perhaps the most likely maker who took over the workshop after Thomas' death in 1714. Between the two, they held the warrant as Joiner to the Royal Household for over thirty years, from 1686-1729, and produced furniture for Whitehall, Kensington, Hampton Court, Windsor Castle and even the royal yachts. Their large workshop was responsible for some of the most original and highest quality furniture of the period. They became justly celebrated for their intricate seaweed marquetry inlay which was closely allied to French designs, but interpreted in a strictly English manner and with English materials.
Other possible makers for the chairs include the London chair-makers Thomas Cleare and Thomas Phill. One of Cleare's designs for a chair, which appears on his trade card is, with its Ionic-scrolled crest rail, unusual pierced splats and distinctive hipped cabriole legs, particularly close to the present pair (see C. Gilbert, ed., Pictorial Dictionary of Marked London Furniture: 1700-1840, London, p.145, fig.214).
A closely related pair of chairs supplied to Thomas Watson-Wentworth for Wentworth Woodhouse, Yorkshire, was sold in these Rooms, Property of an American Private Collection, 16 April 2002, lot 10. Other similar chairs include a near identical example in the Victoria and Albert Museum, illustrated in P. Macquoid and R. Edwards, The Dictionary of English Furniture, Rev. ed., London, 1954, p. 256, fig. 92 and another from the Donaldson Collection with a conformingly shaped top-rail illustrated in P. Macquoid and R. Edwards, op.cit., p. 255, fig. 88.