This pair (and the single armchair, following lot) is virtually identical to the celebrated suite that was acquired by the antiquarian Sir William Cunliffe Brooks, M.D. of Barlow Hall, Manchester in the late 19th century. The suite as subsequently acquired by the collector Sir John Ward, K.V.C.O. for Dudley House, London after Brook's death in 1890. It thereafter formed part of the impressive collections of J.P. Morgan, Walter P. Chrysler and Paul Mellon. The Brooks suite, comprising a pair of armchairs, twelve side chairs, and at least two stools, is slightly more boldy carved and exhibits more pronounced scrolls to the tops of the legs (see J.F. Hayward, 'An English Suite with Embroidered Covers', The Connoisseur, March 1964, vol. CLV, pp. 146-150). A pair of stools was sold from the collection of Samuel Messer, Esq., Christie's London, 5 December 1991, lot 57 (93,500).
Other chairs of this pattern include a pair which may have been supplied to the Magdalen Hospital in the late 1750's which was sold by them at Christie's London, 12 May 1966, lot 65. Magdalen Hospital, founded in 1758 by Robert Dingley and other philanthropists, was at Goodman's Fields, Whitechapel until 1772 when it moved to Saint George's Fields, Blackfriars, and moved again to Streatham in 1889. Its original purpose was for the care, protection and rehabilitation of 'Penitent Prostitutes'. Another pair of chairs of this pattern was sold anonymously at Sotheby's London, 5 July 1996, lot 57 (56,500). A single armchair from the collection of the late Thomas Ernest Inman, Esq., was sold Christie's London, 19 June 1980, lot 25.