Ale (1718-1779)

Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine - - MASS OBSERVATION -

‘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, 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.

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