An armchair with similar carved decoration to the legs is recorded in the collection of Samuel Whitbread at Southill, Bedfordshire, illustrated, Ralph Edwards and Percy Macquoid, The Dictionary of English Furniture, rev. ed., 1954, vol. I, p. 277, fig. 160.
Other related examples include a pair of side chairs formerly at Littlecote House, Wiltshire, illustrated in Moss Harris and Sons, A Catalogue and Index of Old Furniture and Works of Decorative Art, vol. IV, p. 42; a pair of armchairs, sold Sotheby's, London, July 4, 1997, lot 58, illus., another pair of armchairs, sold Sotheby's, London, November 13, 1998, lot 152, illus., and a pair of armchairs en suite with a pair of stools sold in consecutive lots, Sotheby's, London, June 3, 1977, lot 111 and 112, respectively, illus., and an armchair, with serpentine seat, possibly by Wright and Elwick, Christie's, London, April 15, 1999, lot 65, illus. More recently a set of eight side chairs sold Sotheby's New York, 26 October 2002, lot 1919.
It is interesting to note that William Vile (d. 1767), who was a cabinet-maker and upholsterer of 72 St. Martin`s Lane, London, together with his partner John Cobb, takes the leading place among furniture manufacturers employed by the Crown early in the reign of George III. Vile is known to have furnished rooms at both St James`s Palace and Buckingham House for Queen Charlotte in 1761-63. The quality and carving for which Vile was known can certainly be seen in the present lot. Another furniture-maker recorded as having supplied furniture to the king during the same period was John Bradburn, although examples of his work there is associated with a more restrained style. It is possible that the present lot formed part of a group of items moved from Buckingham House to Windsor during the 1770s and branded at a later date. The brand relates to the reign of King George IV (1820-30) and there are some 300 items bearing this mark which are sometimes accompanied by a number. The stamped numbers beside the Royal brand usually relate to the room in which the item of furniture was located. However there is regrettably no record of a list of respective rooms to which the numbers refer.
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