Inspired by Italian Renaissance 'sgabello' prototypes, this model of 'back-stool' enjoyed enduring popularity during the 18th Century, no doubt in part as a result of their multi-purpose function, being used both in the garden and as occasional seating in the family chapel, alongside their traditional role as Hall chairs. Perhaps the earliest examples of this basic form of chair in England are the celebrated chairs at Petworth and from Holland House introduced in the early 17th Century by Francois Cleyn, as well as those made for the 1st Duke of Buckingham in 1625 (G. Jackson-Stopps ed. 'The Treasure Houses of Britain', Exhibition Catalogue, 1985, pp.134-135, and S. Jervis, 'Furniture for the 1st Duke of Buckingham', Furniture History, 1995, pp. 52-53, figs. 1-3).
Although this basic pattern of Hall chair was already in existence by 1730, such as the set of eighteen in oak supplied by George Nix to Ham House (P. Thornton and M. Tomlin, 'The Furnishing and Decoration of Ham House', Furniture History, 1980, fig.152), the evolution from a flat to a compass-fronted seat does not predate the 1750s. It is particularly interesting to note, therefore, that a set of twelve oak Hall chairs of apparently identical profile was supplied by William Masters of Coventry Street, Piccadilly to the 2nd Duke of Atholl (d.1764) for Blair Castle, Perthshire in 1751 (A. Coleridge, 'William Masters and some early 18th Century Furniture at Blair Castle, Scotland', The Connoisseur, October 1963, p.79, fig.5). Conclusive attribution , however, is untenable, as this same model was supplied by Alexander Peter to Dumfries House in 1759.