This extremely rare pair of chairs comes from a set of six, the other four now in a French private collection. In form, size, and decoration, they are comparable to a group of four chairs formerly with the Barons Rothschild in England and more recently in the possession of the late Hubert de Givenchy, who also acquired them from the Paris dealer Maurice Segoura (sold Christie's Monaco, The Collection of Hubert de Givenchy, December 4, 1993, lot 63; also ill. in Louis XIV, Faste et Décors, Paris, Musée des arts décoratifs, 1960, no.23 pl.XXVIII). This set was covered in contemporary silk embroidery extremely similar to that on the present lot, possibly from the same workshop.
The boldly carved stretchers and high backs are typical of chair construction of the Louis XIV period, which was designed to accommodate the fashion for men to increase their height with high heeled shoes and ample wigs. An armchair of comparable form and decoration to this pair and with a very similar stretcher is illustrated in M. Jarry, Le siège français, Fribourg 1973, p.51 and 58, figs.35, 41. The carved design elements are derived from the engravings of the artist and ornamental draughtsman Jean Lepautre (1618-1682).