Thomas Chippendale (1718–79) was the most famous and most skilled of England's master cabinet-makers. So synonymous with excellence in design and craftsmanship was he that his name has been given to the most splendid period of English furniture design.
In 1774, Chippendale issued a catalogue of all his designs, a magnificent compilation of 160 engraved plates representing the prevailing furniture styles, particularly the French (Louis XXV), Gothic, and Chinese-manner pieces for which he was best known. The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director, the most important and thorough catalogue of furniture designs that had ever been published in England, was enormously influential, spreading quickly throughout the Continent and the colonies and guiding the style and construction of furniture everywhere. A second edition was formed the following year, and a third in 1762. Today this classic collection is a very rare and highly valued work.
This volume is an unaltered and unabridged republication of the 1762 edition of The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director. The articles of furniture depicted are extremely varied: chairs, sofas, canopy and dome beds, window cornices, breakfast tables, shaving tables, commodes, chamber organs, cabinets, candle stands, cisterns, chimney pieces, picture frames, frets, and other decorations. The plates contain elegant drawings that show the unique combination of solidity of construction and lightness and grace that was the Chippendale trademark, along with many construction diagrams, elevations, and enlargements of moldings and other details. In addition to the plates, this volume also includes a supplement of photographs of sixteenth-century Chippendale-style pieces, including some executed by Chippendale, complete captions to the photos, and a short biographical sketch of Chippendale by N. I. Bienenstock, editor of Furniture World.
The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director is an indispensable guide for antiquarians, furniture dealers, and collectors, and a treasury of ideas for today's designers. Art lovers and other readers will also find it a delightful browsing book.
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