The parlour chair with lyre-splat was introduced in the 1760s by the architect Robert Adam in a design for Osterley Park, Middlesex (M. Tomlin, Catalogue of Adam Period Furniture, London, 1982, p.23, fig.C/1a, inv.no. O.P.H. 171-1949). This form of arched back, named 'balloon back', features in Gillows of London and Lancaster's 1785 Estimate Sketch Book (L. Boynton (ed.), Gillow Furniture Designs 1760-1800, Royston, 1995, fig.264) while such palm-capped columnar leg patterns feature in Messrs. A. Hepplewhite & Co's The Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer's Guide, 1788.
A pair of chairs of this pattern featured in an advertisement in The Connoisseur, January 1973, while a set of fourteen chairs was sold anonymously in these Rooms, 28 June 1979, lot 14.
A further related set of twelve chairs was offered anonymously, Sotheby's New York, 23 January 1993, lot 263.