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Figs. 133, 134, and 135. 'CORNICES FOR 15EDS OR WINDOWS."

Plate 107 in all editions of the Guide.

Figs. 133, 134, and 135. 'CORNICES FOR 15EDS OR WINDOWS."

Plate 107 in all editions of the Guide.

Figs. 136, 137, and 138. "CORNICES FOR BEDS OR WINDOWS.'

The latter part of the eighteenth century was essentially the age of elaborate window cornices and draperies, often carried to such an extreme as to be not only insanitary but unsightly. Six patterns from the Guide are reproduced in Figs. 133 to 138, all of which, with the exceptions of Figs. 134 and 137. being as characteristically Hepplewhite, as the two latter are typically Adam. Cornices of this kind were usually executed in wood and composition, and " japanned," i.e. painted with varnish colour, usually cream or light green, and picked out with gold. In some cases an attempt was made to match the shade of the curtain and valance fabrics, part of the wooden ornaments being carved to simulate drapery. It is an instance of the decadence of English furniture of the Adam and Hepplewhite periods, that deceits of this kind were not only extensively practised but even acclaimed as artistic triumphs.

Hepplewhite's mt'tier was undoubtedly inlaid furniture, and the revival of raar-queterie was, in all probability, due to his firm. Nothing could be finer than the commode,

Plate 7S in all editions of the Guide.

Plate 7S in all editions of the Guide.

Figs. 140, 141, 142, 143. TOPS FOR CARD TABLES.

Plate 6i in all editions of the Guide.

Figs. 140, 141, 142, 143. TOPS FOR CARD TABLES.

Plate 6i in all editions of the Guide.

Figs. 144, 145, and 146. "TOPS FOR DRESSING TABLES AND COMMODES."

Plate 78* in all editions of the Guide.

"RED PILLARS."

Plate 106 in all editions of the Guide.

"RED PILLARS."

Plate 106 in all editions of the Guide.

Fig. 139, a serai-circular piece made to stand between windows as an alternative to the pier table. The cut-out and shaped plinth is of the type known as the " French foot" at this period, and the inspiration of the term will be obvious when the French work of Hepplewhite is considered. The seven designs of inlaid tops for " dressing tables and commodes," Figs. 140 to 146, may be bracketed with Fig. 139 in point of excellence of design and purpose.

The four patterns of "Bed Pillars," Fig. 147, give Hepplewhite's ideas for the treatment of the " four-poster," although here he does not manifest any striking originality. It will be noticed that 110 provision is made in any of the designs for the housing or covering of the coach-screws or bolts by which the side framings were secured to the squares of the posts.

A good deal of mention has been made, in books dealing with the subject of English eighteenth century furniture, of the pattern known as " Rudd's Table." The design is reproduced here in Fig. 148. An almost identical design is shown on Plates of the second edition of the Cabinet-maker's London Book of Prices, the work of Shearer, and the

Plate 79 in all editions of the Guide.

Plate 79 in all editions of the Guide.

following reference from the Guide indicates that the pattern was borrowed by both, being the common property of the whole trade at this period :—

" Rirdifs Tabic or Rcfleeting Dressing Tabic. This is the most complete Dressing Table made, possessing ci'ery coui'enicncc zvhich can be ivantcd, or mechanism and ingenuity supply. It derives its name from a once popular charactcr, for whom it is reported it ivas first invented."

The above suggests a date considerably before 17S8 for the origin of the pattern. It is included in all three editions of the Guide.

So far, the intention has been to shortly review the Cabinet-maker and Upholsterer's Guide in the same manner as was pursued in the case of Chippendale's Director in the second volume. The illustrations have been culled solely from the Guide itself, the idea being to offer some substantial basis for the system of classification to be adopted in subsequent chapters, where it is proposed to further consider the patterns of Hepplewhite as illustrated in the Guide, side by side with photographic reproductions from actual models of the period, and to see whether certain rules cannot be established by which the cabinet and chair work of Hepplewhite may be distinguished from that of his tiade rivals, and of Thomas Sheraton who succeeded him, as the last of the great designers of English furniture during the eighteenth century.

Furniture of the Hepplewhite Period—1780-1792.

T is comparatively easy to differentiate between the style of the furniture designs of " A. Hepplewhite & Co." as illustrated in the Guide and that of Thomas Sheraton as expounded in the Drawing Book. The distinction, in the greater majority of instances, is so wide as to need little or no explanation. In seeking for guiding principles to enable us to distinguish between the work of the Hepplewhite school—from about 1780 to 1792—and that of the followers of Sheraton —from about 1790 until the close of the eighteenth century—the problem becomes much more complicated, for many reasons. In the first place, the firm of Hepplewhite & Co., if not the founder himself, were designers and makers of furniture, each in a separate connection. We can only gauge the scope of what is known as the Hepplewhite style by the measure of the Cabinet-maker and Upholsterer s Guide in the restricted sense of the term, but it will be found more convenient to enlarge the sphere, and to include both the productions of the firm of Hepplewhite and of the cabinet-makers of the period who followed in their train under the one generic title. This method is not really so comprehensive as would at first sight appear. The style of Hepplewhite could not have been an accomplished fact in 1788—the date of publication of the first edition of the Guide—in fact it would be more correct to say that the tiue style is not expounded in this book at all. We have seen that repeated references are made, in the accompanying text to the Guide illustrations, to the novelty and experimental character of many of the designs ; and the conclusion is irresistible that the firm of Hepplewhite, when considering the publication of this trade catalogue—it is nothing less—came to the conclusion that the patterns made in the ordinary way were too hackneyed and lacking in novelty for publication in collected form. The result was that they gave to the furnishing world of the later eighteenth century many untried designs, original, if not often ludicrous in conception, and in the greater number of instances, impracticable in character. Had it been possible to have photographed the furniture actually made in Hepplewhite's workshops and to have compared these with the Guide designs, it would probably have been found that the resemblance between the two would have been exceedingly slight. In the absence, however, of authenticated Hepplewhite furniture, we are forced, in some measure, to re-create the style, or to establish new boundaries, and it will be better therefore, and

Figs. 149 and 150. PAINTED SATINWOOD TABLES.

In the possession of C. J. Charles, Esq. 2 ft. S ins. wide X I ft. 6 ins. deep X 2 ft. 9 ins Date about 1780.

Figs. 149 and 150. PAINTED SATINWOOD TABLES.

In the possession of C. J. Charles, Esq. 2 ft. S ins. wide X I ft. 6 ins. deep X 2 ft. 9 ins Date about 1780.

ir o to

high.

Figs. 151 and 152. THE TOPS OF THE SAT1NWOOD TABLES, Figs. 149 and 150.

INLAID SATINWOOD TABLE. 3 ft. 9 ins. wide x I ft. SJ ins. deep x 2 ft. 9 ins. high. Date about 1785.

INLAID SATINWOOD TABLE. 3 ft. 9 ins. wide x I ft. SJ ins. deep x 2 ft. 9 ins. high. Date about 1785.

less misleading, to refer to the examples illustrated in this chapter as being the work of cabinet-makers from 1780 to 1792, whose title of the Hepplewhite school does not so much imply that they followed the lead of Hepplewhite & Co. as that they collectively assisted to establish what is here referred to as the " Hepplewhite style." With this preamble, we can turn to the consideration of the furniture of the Hepplewhite school without the reader falling into the error of imagining that each example illustrated in the following pages represents actual work of the firm of " A. Hepplewhite & Co."

Although mahogany was still used to a great extent until the close of the eighteenth century, the fashionable taste of this period was for the lighter woods, satinwood, sycamore, and chestnut, polished in their natural colours, or, in the case of sycamore, stained with water to which oxide of iron was added, to produce what was variously known as " eyre-wood " or " hare-wood." Beech was also largely employed, principally for chairs, where a japanned or painted surface was required. Roughly summarised, the era of Chippendale may be described as an age of carved and fretted ornament, that of Hepplewhite as one of painting, and the period of Sheraton as one of inlay. The Guide itself was probably responsible for the substitution of painted decoration for

3 ft. 9 ins. wide x I ft. 10 ins. deep x 2 ft. 6 ins. high. Date about 1790.

carved ornament, and Sheraton also adopted the manner, preferring, however, an inlay of coloured woods as being of more permanent a nature than paint.

The satinwood used at this period was almost exclusively of the East Indian variety, pale lemon-yellow in colour and comparatively free from figure. To relieve the monotony of large surfaces, painted decoration, usually of small medallions surrounded with flowers and ribbons, was employed. Figs. 149 and 150 are examples of this work, Figs. 151 and 152 showing the tops, decorated in the manner of Angelica Kauffman, Cipriani, and Zucchi. The top and friezes are edged with tulip wood, crossbanded, inside of which, on the former, are painted borders of grapes and vine leaves. The veneer of the tops is " feathered " in three pieces radiating from the centre of the back, to enhance the appearance of the wood.

Figs. 153 and 154 show the alternative method of inlaying instead of painting. In the first the top is veneered with East India satinwood, in radiating fans with outer segments of rosewood crossbanded, and bordered with " feathered " tulip veneer. The legs are edged with small chequered lines of holly and ebony, and the " squares " on the

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