Designed in the 'Etruscan' manner of the 1790's, these light-framed easy-chairs or 'chaises au courantes' were almost certainly supplied to William, 1st Marquess of Lansdowne (d.1805) for the Sculpture Gallery at Lansdowne House. Completed to the designs of Joseph Bonomi (d.1808) in 1786 to house Lansdowne's growing collection of classical sculptures and antiquities, many of which had been acquired on his extended Grand Tour of Italy from 1771, the Sculpture Gallery was further enlarged in 1791 by George Dance (d.1825), and this included the replacement of Robert Adam's (d.1792) original chimneypiece with another in the 'Egyptian manner'. These chairs were almost certainly supplied at that time and may well have been executed by John Gee (d. circa 1824), 'Chairmaker and Turner to His Majesty'. A closely related suite of simulated rosewood and parcel-gilt seat-furniture stamped by Gee, similarly enriched with grisaille putto tablets and also including a quadruple-chairback settee, was sold by the Dowager Lady Camoys, in these Rooms, 14 April 1988, lot 71.
These grisaille tablets depict sporting 'loves' in the act of sharpening arrows or fishing, together with sporting youths emblematical of hospitality, the Defence of Liberty, the Liberal Arts of Architecture, Painting and Music, and the Seasons. The popular flower-filled vignette of 'Summer' relates to a composition of the mid-1780s by the book-illustrator Lady Diana Beauclerk (d. 1808) and featured in Michael Angelo Pergolesi's, Designs for Various Ornaments, London, 1777-1801.
This suite, including a chairback-settee, is subsequently recorded in a photograph of the Drawing Room at Lansdowne House, circa 1910 (illustrated in D. Pearce, London's Mansions, London, 1986, p. 93, fig. 65). Arguably one of the 'finest and most characteristic interiors of Adam's early maturity', the Lansdowne House Drawing Room is happily now preserved in the Philadelphia Museum of Art.