The 'Marot' chairs have taper-columnar legs tied by vase-capped stretchers, which correspond to a pattern issued around 1700 by William III's Paris-trained architect Daniel Marot (d.1752) in his Second Livre d'Appartements. Marot's chairs also featured tall basks in harmony with the monumental French beds of the period ; and they were upholstered with ribbon-scrolled braid that was fretted in the Louis XIV 'Roman' fashion popularised by the engravings of Jean Berain.
The Chirk chairs' original caned backs have been replaced by fretted ribbon-scrolls that relate to the 'Marot' banqueting hall or banqueting house seats that were fashionable from around 1700. This transformation of the chairs reflects the influence of Henry Shaw's scholarly furniture reference book Specimens of Ancient Furniture that was issued in 1836 and dedicated to Thomas Lister Parker, whose romantic antler-hung hall at Browsholme, Yorkshire relates to that at Chirk. Its introduction was written by the connoisseur Sir Samuel Rush Meyrick of Goodrich Court, Hereforshire (lot 461). Alongside a richly carved cabinet 'of the time of Elizabeth or James 1' belonging to the Bond Street dealer John Webb, Shaw illustrated carved back 'chairs of the time of William 3rd' from St. Catherine's Chapel. While an upholstered back chair of this same period at Penshurst House would appear to have influenced the carvings in the back of the present chairs, which in turn relate to upholstered back chairs in Marot's Nouveaux Fauteuils.
These chairs were probably commissioned by Sir Richard Myddelton (d.1716) for the Long Gallery at Chirk. Amongst the most accomplished and prolific chairmakers of this period was Thomas Roberts, who succeeded Richard Price as the chief supplier of bed frames, seat-furniture and fire-screens to the Royal household in 1686. He is listed at 'The Royal Chair', Marylebone Street, London as joiners, chair-makers and carvers (G. Beard and C. Gilbert, The Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1660-1840, 1986, p. 752).
The 1716 Inventory of Chirk records 'Cane Chairs' or 'Arm'd Chairs of Cane' in almost every room, and the 1795 is also frustratingly unspecific.