The combination of star-inlaid motifs and `ebony' stringing featured on the present set of chairs is associated with furniture produced by the leading Regency cabinet-maker George Oakley. A set of quartetto tables similarly inlaid with star motifs and supplied by George Oakley for Charles Madryll Cheere of Papworth Hall, Cambridgeshire in 1810, formed part of one of his most celebrated commissions (see Ralph Edwards & Percy Macquoid, The Dictionary of English Furniture, 1954 rev. ed., 3 Vols., vol III, p. 272, fig. 1). A mahogany wardrobe, also forming part of the same commission, which is decorated with similar ebony inlaid scroll motifs, sold Christie's London, Simon Sainsbury, The Creation of an English Arcadia, 18 June 2008, lot 273.
George Oakley (d.1840) worked in partnership with various cabinet-makers, including Henry Kettle, George Shackleton and John Evans, producing furniture in the fashionable Grecian taste and specialising in `buhl' inlay (C. Gilbert and G. Beard, eds., Dictionary of English Furniture Makers 1660-1840, 1986, pp. 658-660). His extensive enterprise earned the accolades of the Royal Family: 'the Prince and Princess of Orange did Mr. Oakley the honour of viewing his Printed Furniture Warehouse in New Bond Street; when his Majesty, the Duke and Duchess of York, and the Princesses, & C., highly approved of the splendid variety which has justly attracted the notice of the fashionable world' (Morning Chronicle). This reputation spread abroad where an 1804 newspaper article published in Weimar, Germany stated: `all people with taste buy their furniture at Oakley's'.
A possible source of inspiration for the design of the top rails is a pattern for sabre leg chair published by Thomas Hope in Household Furniture and Interior Decoration, 1807, pl. 24, fig. 3 (see illustration).
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