The Stoneleigh banqueting/parlour chairs, commissioned by Edward Leigh (d. 1786), 5th Lord Leigh of Stoneleigh, feature arched-crests with shell-scalloped cartouches amongst reed-wrapped ribbons, and are richly fretted in the curvilinear French 'picturesque' fashion introduced by architects such as Isaac Ware, author of A Complete Body of Architecture, 1756. This shell-cartouche pattern, recalling Venus as nature deity, featured in 'parlour chair' designs in The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director, issued by Thomas Chippendale between 1754-62 and illustrating fashions of the period that George III served as Prince of Wales and as a leader of the Nation's Arts. Chippendale also contributed to the London Society of Upholsterers and Cabinet-makers' pattern-book entitled Genteel Household Furniture, 1760 that appeared at the time of George III's accession. Another contributor was the Haymarket Chair-Maker Robert Manwaring, who published 'Original' patterns for closely related 'shell-cartouched' chairs in The Cabinet and Chair-Maker's Real friend and Companion, 1765, and The Chair-Maker's Guide, 1766. He also claimed 'there are very few designs advanced, but what he has either executed himself, or seen completely finished by others' (G. Beard & C. Gilbert, eds., The Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1660-1840, Leeds, 1986, p. 350).
The Stoneleigh chairs are likely to have been commissioned in 1763 from William Gomm to accompany the sideboard-table that was supplied between May 1763 and October 1764, and to have featured amongst almost two hundred chairs included in an invoice totalling over £800.