This armchair can be attributed on stylistic grounds to the workshop of Paul Saunders (1722-71), an 'upholder' and cabinet-maker of Soho, London. The beautifully carved form and ornament reflects the influence of ‘French’ designs for chairs in Thomas Chippendale's The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director
, 1754 (pls. XVIII-XIX). Indeed, Saunders was a subscriber to the Director
, and was undoubtedly inspired by Chippendale’s designs.
Although most of Saunders’ work is undocumented, he supplied a closely related set of ten ‘elbow’ armchairs to the 1st Earl of Leicester for Holkham Hall, Norfolk in 1757. The pattern of the offered chair with the furled acanthus detail to the armrest, foliate carved cabochons and distinctive scrolled foot, is a variation of the Holkham suite distinguished only by the addition of antique fluting, a trait possibly unique to Saunders’ workshop. For a related pair supplied to 1st Marquess of Bath (1734-1796) for Longleat, Wiltshire, and also attributed to Saunders, see those sold Christie’s, Longleat
, 13 June 2002, lot 338 (£68,000).
 Coleridge, A., Chippendale Furniture, London, 1968, p. 211, fig. 378.