The chairs are going on display in the permanent collection of the Grosvenor Museum, following the purchase by The Megan Gwynne-Jones Charitable Trust, which was formed to promote education around art and culture.
One set date to c.1750 with rattan seats and backs in the rococo style. The second set of oval-backed armchairs date to c.1770 and were made in Paris with tapisserie au petit point upholstery and represent the transition to early French neo-classicism.
Peter Boughton, the keeper of art for Cheshire West and Chester Council, said: “Their history is fascinating and they show off the impressive rococo style that was so popular in the mid-18th century.”
The trust, run by Chester legal specialists Aaron & Partners, has previously funded a number of projects and artworks for the museum, including the conservation of a portrait of the 1st Marquess of Crewe, the conservation of etchings by 19th century artist William Monk and watercolours by artist Louise Rayner, and the museum’s exhibition Inspired by Gothic: Ruins, Romance, Revival.
Aaron & Partners also administer The Tyrer Charitable Trust which has given works to the Grosvenor Museum as well.
Last year it acquired a silver tumbler made by 17th century Chester silversmith Peter Pemberton.
At auction it previously bought a large Chinese export porcelain punch bowl with the Cholmondeley of Vale Royal coat of arms, Henry Anderton’s Portrait of a Lady, a porringer by silversmith Ralph Walley, a Chester silver spice box, a marble bust of Roman emperor Caracalla thought to be by the studio of Francis Harwood, and a John Downman painting called A Gothic Subject.
Clive Pointon, trust and tax specialist at Aaron & Partners and chairman of the trusts, said the chairs “are exactly the sort of pieces that the Megan Gwynne-Jones Charitable Trust is keen to use to promote education and enjoyment around art and culture”.
The National Galleries of Scotland sold the chairs to the trust but did not disclose a price for the chairs.