William III's Gallery, designed by Sir Christopher Wren at Hampton Court Palace, was restyled in 1699 for the celebrated tapestry cartoons, 'The Acts of the Apostles' by Raphael (d. 1520), brought to England in 1623 by Charles I. The King's Gallery, displaying its 'Seven Famous cartoons of Raphael Urbin', was drawn in 1707 by Simon Gribelin, who engraved it for publication in 1720 (Simon Thurley, The building of the King's Apartments', Apollo, August 1994, p. 14, fig. 6).
The Palace was opened to the public on Queen Victoria's accession and a 'Handbook to the Public Galleries' was issued by Mrs Jameson in 1842. This scenic interior of the King's Gallery in olden times is likely to have been executed in the late 1840s by James Wingfield (d. 1872), and records the room before the 'Acts of the Apostles' by Raphael (d. 1520) were moved to the South Kensington Museum (now the Victoria & Albert Museum) in 1865. The cove-ceilinged gallery is shown from the same view as Gribelin's engraving, but includes amongst its antique furniture and porcelain, a pedestal that was not introduced to the Palace until the reign of George II.
The frame, embellished with French 'picturesque' acanthus foliage, would have been commissioned by 2nd Duke of Sutherland (d. 1861) to accord with the French decoration of his palatial London mansion at Stafford House, St. James's, where it was recorded in the Ante Dining Room in 1895. It may have been amongst the furnishings supplied by the Bond Street firm of George Morant & Son (see J. Yorke, 'The Furnishing of Stafford House', Furniture History, 1996, pp. 46-80, and fig 2) (also see lot 188).