This remarkable set of dining-chairs with 'cippus-altar' backs and palmette-enriched scrolled crestings reflect the French style introduced by C. Percier and P. Fontaine's Receuil de Décorations Intérieures of 1801. The set is likely to have been commissioned by the 5th Earl Cowper (d.1836) as part of his aggrandisement of the house which took place following his marriage in 1815 to the Hon. Emily Lamb. His architect was William Atkinson (d.1839), who was involved at that tiome with the remodelling of the Deepdene, Surrey, for Thomas Hope (d.1831), the connoisseur and author. Cowper's art collection much impressed Waagen, who visited in 1835, but the marked French character of these chairs is very rare in England. It is possible that in place of the usual leather, the original upholstery was the fashionable French velvet.