‘Chippendale’, a term often used to describe furniture from 1750-60, was s the first design style named after a cabinet maker rather than a king.
Thomas Chippendale, who set up p shop at fashionable St Martin’s Lane, London, in 1754, was not only a gifte ed craftsman, but also a marketing visionary. Publication of his significan t volume, The Gentleman and Cabinet t Maker’s Director, which you can view online at bit.ly/1M37t5S, transformed the world of interior design. As copies circulated, scores of cabinet makers across Continental Europe and the American Colonies turned out ‘Chippendales’ of their own.
Chippendales embody three distinct styles. Gothic-style chair backs often featured quatrefoils, while bureau-bookcases bore crowns of double- curved or pointed-arch pediments. Rocooco-style carved and extravagantly gildeed softwood girandoles, console tabless and looking-glass frames mirrored Frenchh elegance.
Chiippendale Chinoiseries reflected 18th-ccentury Europe’s fascination with all thinngs Oriental. Many china cabinets, dessigned to display treasured pporcelains, boasted pagoda-like ppediments and carved fretwork, wwhile chairs and cabinets featured aairy latticework. Chippendales designed for popular Chineseinspired ‘Chinoiserie rooms’, were frequently ‘japanned’ – lacquered to a glossy, Oriental-like finish. Chippendale himself often accepted all-inclusive, large-scale commissions for interior design. Examples of his resplendent décor and furniture still grace Newby Hall and Harewood House.