These chairs can be confidently attributed to John Linnell (1729-96) on the basis of their similarity to a number of documented suites of seat furniture made by Linnell in the late eighteenth century. The distinctively Linnellian motif of a ball-and-leaf arm terminal can be found on two suites of furniture supplied to the 5th Duke of Argyll at Inverary Castle circa 1775 (Helena Hayward "Ordered from Berkeley Square - Inveraray and the furniture of John Linnell", Country Life, 5 June 1975). The same motif was used on a suite of chairs and sofas supplied by Linnell to Thomas Samuel Joliffe at Ammerdown in Somerset in 1795 (Clifford Musgrave, Adam and Hepplewhite and other Neo-classical Furniture, 1966, p.122).
The feature is found on several other notable suites associated with Linnell, namely those supplied to the banker Robert Child of Osterley Park, Middlesex, another supplied to Edwin Lascelles at Harewood House, Yorkshire, and a suite in the Victoria and Albert Museum.
A set of ten giltwood chairs and sofas of almost identical form to those offered here was supplied to Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn at 20 St James Square, London in c.1770. These were sold in these Rooms on 19th November 1993, lot 87 (£183,000), having been attributed to Linnell both on stylistic grounds and because of his close working relationship with Robert Adam, who was remodelling the house for Sir Watkin at that time.
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