The design of these chairs is taken from one that appeared in the great series of twenty-seven Gothic plates that Rudolph Ackermann produced in his Repository of Arts in 1825-1827, in response to what he identified as 'the prevailing taste for Gothis architecture'. The design is described as being from 'the repository of Mr, G. Bullock'.
There is an important difference between the fashion that began to arise then, and which was to be so dominant for decades, and the decorative Gothic of George Smith in the early years of the century. The mid-1820s marked the very beginning of the Pugin period and it has been suggested that the Ackermann plates, and in particular this chair design, reflect the ecclesiastical sensitivities of the younger Pugin and his contempraries. The design of the back incorporates the late Gothic four-centred flat arch; this is intended to contrast with the high arch of the golden age of medieval ecclesiastical architecture. The flat arch was thought more suitable for domestic use as its associations were less clerical. The distinction is a fine one since the flat arch appeared in ecclesiastical architecture of the earliest period (see: S. Jones in his introduction to Ackermann's Regency Furniture and Interiors, Marlborough, 1984, p. 21)