Thomas Chippendale was an English cabinet-maker and furniture designer. There were actually three generations of cabinet-makers of this name, but it was the second Chippendale who became so famous as a designer that the most brilliant period in the history of this art in England is named after him. His father’s workshop is known to have been at Worcester in the early years of the 18th Century.
Vintage Chippendale Chairs
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Father and son had established their London workshop by 1737, and here the son carried on the manufacture of much of the best furniture ever produced in England. The name “Chippendale” has come to be applied to the period of Thomas Chippendale rather than to his actual handiwork, and very few pieces can be proved to have originated in his workshops. The term is also loosely applied to modern reproduction furniture made in the style.
Vintage Chippendale Chests
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Chippendale’s chairs probably show him at his best as a designer; they are of many varying types, some comparatively plain, others of the well-known ribbon pattern, some with elaborate “Gothic” tracery, and others Chinese in their inspiration. His fertile invention produced tables, cabinets, settees, bookcases, and specimens of almost every article of furniture in use at the time. His Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker’s Director (2nd edition 1762) contains 200 plates.
Vintage Chippendale Tables and Table Parts
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His son, the third Thomas Chippendale, succeeded to the business, which he carried on until his death in 1823; he was also a painter, exhibiting several works in the Royal Academy.