The design for this chair derives from Italian walnut Sgabelli of the 16th century that were popular throughout the Renaissance. Hall chairs of this general shape were produced in the British Isles through the 18th century and well into the 19th century.
The current example is one of the finest we have seen, generously proportioned with a shaped dished seat, and arched trestles. This chair has a particularly graceful presentation.
The back is painted with the crest, coronet, initial K and motto Quae Amissa Salva (What has been lost is safe) for the Scottish family Keith, Earls of Kintore and hereditary Earls Marishal. These are two possibilities for the patron who commissioned this chair – John Keith, 3rd Earl of Kintore (1699-1758) and his cousin George Keith, 10th Earl Marishal (1693-1778). The Earls Marishal of Scotland, equivalent to the Earl Marshals in England were hereditary custodians of the Royal Regalia of Scotland and were responsible for protecting the Kings person when attending Parliament. It is unlikely that George Keith would have commissioned this chair because in 1715 he fought on the Jacobite side during the uprising and was attainted for treason by George I forfeiting both his titles and estates and fled to the continent unable to return to Britain until 1759.
It is therefore almost certain that the chair was commissioned by John Keith of Keith Hall who inherited the Earldom in 1718 and held it until his death in 1758.
English or Scottish c. 1730