With their tall pierced backs and richly carved pierced vase-shaped splats, this exquisite set is characteristic of a type that was made both in England and Holland in the early 18th century.
The main distinction between the English and Dutch models is the decoration of the seat-rail. English examples have a plain seat-rail which is covered by upholstery. This can be seen on chairs in the Victoria and Albert Museum and on a set at Hampton court. The Dutch examples, however, have carved decoration to the seat-rail, like those illustrated in K. Sluyterman, Huisraad en Binnenhuis in Nederland, The Hague, 1947, p. 286, figs, 370 & 371 and Dr. C.H. de Jonge Dr. W. Vogelsang, Holländische Möbel und Raumkunst von 1650 - 1780, The Hague 1922, p.201.
A set of eightteen chairs of this type were made by Richard Roberts, for George the first's dining-room at Hampton Court in 1717. Richards, like his father Thomas before him, was the leading supplier of furniture to the Royal household. Father and son maintained this position from 1685 to 1729. Their specialty was elaborate carved walnut chairs; whose designs were influenced by Flemish and Dutch prototypes and the French designs of Daniel Marot.
For comparative literature:
Geoffrey Beard and John Cross,Thomas and Richard Roberts Royal chair-makers, Apollo 9, 1998 pp. 46-48.