Chippendale Thomas - (Furniture Maker Designer England)

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Chippendale, Thomas - (Furniture, Maker, Designer, England) (1718-79): English cabinet-maker and designer whose reputation stands higher than that of any other. He was born at Otley, Yorkshire, the son of a. carpenter. It is thought he may have been apprenticed to a London cabinetmaker, but there is no definite evidence of this; what is known is that he married in London in 1748 and soon after that he had rented the premises in St Martin's Lane that he was to retain for the rest of his life. He worked with two partners, first James Rannie and then Thomas Haig. The business was continued after his death by his eldest son, another Thomas (1749-1822), in partnership with Haig. While some furniture of superb quality has been identified as from Chippendale's workshops, his great reputation is due to his book of designs, The Gentleman and Cabinet-maker's Director. This folio volume was first issued in 1754, reprinted in 1755, and a third enlarged edition was issued in parts between 1759 and 1762. The Director was by far the most ambitious work of its kind published up to that date. Practically every type of domestic furniture of the mid-eighteenth century was illustrated. The first edition contained more than 150 plates; the third edition had some 200. Almost all the designs are in the Gothic, Chinese and Modern (rococo) fashions. Just how many of the designs were drawn by Chippendale is a matter for dispute, but the plates are signed by him and in the preface he took the credit for the entire work. It cannot be too often pointed out that 'Chippendale furniture' means furniture corresponding in style to the designs illustrated in the Director.


The gentleman and cabinet-maker's director. Being a large collection of the most elegant and useful designs of houshold furniture ... The whole ... copper-plates, ... By Thomas Chippendale, ...The gentleman and cabinet-maker's director. Being a large collection of the most elegant and useful designs of houshold furniture ... The whole ... copper-plates, ... By Thomas Chippendale, ...

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