Chippendale furniture remains ever popular and is eagerly sort after. Luckily there is still much to be seen in the Stately Homes of Britain and Museums around the world.
Thomas Chippendale 1718-79
Chippendale came from Otley in Yorkshire. Having served his apprenticeship as a cabinet-maker he moved to London where he set up workshops in St Martin's Lane.(around 1749)
Mid Georgian furniture in the Rococo style was much influenced by Thomas Chippendale.
In 1754 he published the first British Pattern book devoted entirely to furniture design.
His book, often referred to as the Director, was called The Gentleman and Cabinet-maker's Director.
This book presented all types of furniture in various designs, such as Rococo, Chinese and Gothic.
New editions of the Director appeared in 1755 and 1762
Chippendale's book not only made him famous, but also gave his customers many patterns to choose from.
It was a reference for other cabinet makers who were able to reproduce the designs from the working drawings - which many did.
He employed many cabinetmakers and designers amongst whom were Matthias Lock, Henry Copland and Matthias Darly.
One of the popular designs in his furniture was the ribband back chair - which has been reproduced many times in later periods as well.
Chippendale Furniture Continues to be loved and copied even today
By the time the last edition of his book was published in 1762, the Rococo style was going out of fashion and Neo-classical was becoming all the rage.
An astute business man, he worked with the Adam brothers in furnishing some of the great houses.
After Thomas died of consumption his son Thomas, Jr 1749-1822 continued to run the business.
My heart does a twirl when I see some of the carving on pieces of his furniture - pity I can't afford any....!