The design of this pair of chairs reflects the new, more archaeologically correct 'antique' taste introduced in England in the last years of the eighteenth century in emulation of the late Louis XVI and Directoire styles. This French influence was promoted by George, Prince of Wales and later George IV in the furnishing and decoration of Carlton House under the supervision of Henry Holland, and the oeuvre of the Parisian-trained menuisier François Hervé of John Street, London who was employed at Carlton House between 1783-94. Thomas Sheraton's designs in the 'newest taste' in his The Cabinetmaker and Upholsterer's Drawing Book (1791-94) shows closely related drawing room chairs illustrated in Plate XXXII of Part IIII of his Drawing Book.
A set of six closely related armchairs stamped by the prodigious maker B. Harmer was sold in these Rooms, 19 October 2000, lots 146-148. One of these chairs is illustrated in C. Gilbert, ed., Pictorial Dictionary of Marked London Furniture 1700-1840, Leeds, 1996, p.257, fig. 471.