This handsome pair of drawing-room chairs have serpentined cartouche backs in the French 'cabriolet' fashion introduced in the 1760s by cabinet-makers such as John Cobb (d. 1788), and later engraved in T. Malton's Compleat Treatise on Perspective, 1775 (pl. 33, fig. 131). The arched crests of their reeded and antique-fluted frames celebrate lyric poetry with laurel-festooned Roman medallions displaying 'Apollo' sunflowers. More laurels issue from Roman acanthus cartouches on the arms and centres and corners of the seat-rails; while foliage wreathing the columnar legs includes triumphal palms. Such laurelled medallions and richly carved legs appear around 1769 on tables designed by Matthias Lock Junior, author of A New Book of Foliage, 1769 and A New Book of Pier-Frames, Ovals, Gerandoles, Tables etc., 1769 (P. Ward-Jackson, English Furniture Designs, London, 1958, figs. 252-253).
Similar palm-wreathed legs, accompanying sunflowered tablets, feature on drawing room chairs supplied in 1773 for Northumberland House, London and bearing the name of the Soho cabinet-maker and upholsterer James Cullen (d. 1779) (C. Gilbert, Pictorial Dictionary of Marked London Furniture 1660-1840, Leeds, 1996, figs. 267 and 268).
A closely related chair, with frame enriched with ribbon-guilloche, forms part of the Marquess of Hertford's collection at Ragley Hall, Warwickshire (English Life Publications Ltd, Ragley Hall, 1993, p. 11).
A chair of the present pattern in the possession of J. D. Phillips is illustrated in H. Cescinsky, English Furniture of the Eighteenth Century, vol. III, 1909, fig. 245). A bergere of this pattern was on the Art Market in the early 1990s. A settee of this pattern, but with upholstered cresting, was in the collection of Arthur Hill at Denton Hall, Yorkshire (C. Hussey, 'Denton Hall', Country Life, 4 November 1939, p. 471, fig. 4).