The history of the chesterfield sofa
is long and complicated. It is widely believed that Philip Dormer Stanhope, the fourth Earl of Chesterfield (September 1694 – March 1773), commissioned one of these sofas in the 18th century. The earl was well-known for his style as well as being a prominent writer and politician. The story goes that Sir Stanhope commissioned a cabinetmaker to design a couch in which a gentleman could sit upright comfortably and thus the first rich leather sofa with rolled back and arms, buttons and nail head trim was born. Although there has never been a confirmation of this story, it seems the most plausible.