Style At A Glance: Chippendale

What tends to make the difference in between specialist designer and amateur? I think, very first of all, it is the capability to skilfully mix factors and elements from different styles and epochs, without generating at the finish a crazy melange. This write-up will be about the particular person, who combined with a pure taste elaborate fancifulness of Rococo, rigorous elegance of English style and exotic oriental motifs. I am talking now about the very best cabinetmaker of all occasions – Thomas Chippendale. The initial furnishings catalogue written by him – The Gentleman and Cabinet Maker’s Director , his drawings and layouts are employed by designers and cabinet makers until now.

As it often happens, tendencies in style are influenced by social and cultural life. It was also the case in the course of the occasions when Chippendale lived. XVIII century is the period of distant sea voyages and great geographical discoveries. In 1725 the captain of a single British ship brought to England redwood, which he utilized as a ballast, and because then started the era of mahogany. Its durability and strength as nicely as the capability to carve fine particulars captured the heart of Thomas Chippendale and other cabinet makers. Apart from this “new” material,  furniture developed by him had many other distinctive functions. Lets have a look at them closer.

1) Openwork back

The most well-known furniture piece designed by Thomas Chippendale was his stunning dining chair. It has a carved openwork back with a symmetrical ornate pattern, square or trapezium-shaped seat, straight or curved legs, which often ended in the “ball and claw” shape. A lot of elements have been employed for carved decor: ribbons, rocaille curls, flowers, etc. The upholstery fabric was various: it could be tapestry, silk, leather or velvet. Wooden parts had been usually covered with protective varnish, which make a big difference from the French furnishings of that period generally painted with gilt or gesso.

Image source

Image supply

2) Asian influence

“Chinese” Chippendale chairs became one particular of the most well-known furnishings pieces and remain such till these days. Its recognisable feature is back seeking like bamboo lattice. A lot of furnishings producers even today make chairs resembling its famous prototype. Of course these days they are mostly made in a simplified style and from cheap supplies, such as plastic.

Set of 10 Chippendale chairs from Gerald Tomlin Antiques.

Set of 10 Chippendale chairs from Gerald Tomlin Antiques.

3) Gothic ornaments

Gothic is 1 of these everlasting types, which change and transform but never ever dye. Thomas Chippendale and other cabinet-makers of his time frequently employed it in combination with Rococo and Chinoiserie, which added lightness and cheerfulness to this rigid style. The most well-liked ornaments included lattices, gryphons, acanthus leaves, architectural elements of ancient Gothic cathedrals.

Chippendale Pagoda Mirror from Circa Who

Chippendale Pagoda Mirror from Circa Who

4) Vase Splat and Fiddle Back

All chairs by Chippendale have wooden back with no any upholstery. There is a large range of back designs created by him, but mainly they had been vase splat (resembling vase) or fiddle back (violin-shaped splat back).

Chippendale chairs

Chippendale chairs with vase splat from Anthony Outred collection.

Chippendale chairs with Fiddle backsplat from the Stanley Weiss collection.

Chippendale chairs with Fiddle backsplat from the Stanley Weiss collection.

As I pointed out earlier, Chippendale style is quite usually used by designers nowadays. Below is the instance of modern Scandinavian interior with modern Chippendale dining chairs.

Traditional Dining Space by Washington Interior Designers & Decorators Kathryn Ivey Interiors

Got inspired? Have a look at these



1. Phyllis Morris Chippendale bar stools 2. Pair of vintage bamboo Chippendale chairs 3. Vintage set of 4 Rattan Chinese Chippendale chairs 4. Antique English Chippendale Armchair
5.Handcarved strong mahogany antique replicas Chippendale Chair

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