Mahogany Chair

3 ft. 1 in. from floor to top of back. 1 ft. 10 ins. across front of seat. 1 ft. Si ins. depth of seat. 1 ft. 5 ins. height of seat. Oval back: 2oi ins. x 17 ins. Date about 1785.

proficiency seems to have been rapidly attained in this laying of cross-cut veneers on shaped surfaces with the veneering hammer. The upper part of this table is fitted with two cupboards—each with a central shelf—and three drawers, and with an open space in the centre, divided laterally with a shelf—for books or china. The long drawers of pieces of this type were generally fitted with a strutted adjustable writing slope, either cloth or leather-lined.

Fig. 235 is a table of similar form to the preceding, with an open, movable bookrack. The table is veneered with mahogany, with bandings of the same wood surrounding panels of satinwood inlaid with marqueterie. The bookrack is also of mahogany, veneered and crossbanded on the edges. The half of the top is hinged, as shown in the illustration, to throw ovei and extend the width of the top, being supported on the front legs and framing which pull out. The inside of the top is cloth-lined. A table of this kind was usually known as a " Sheveret " in the documents of the period.

There are usually many points, notably in the wood and veneer, the character of the marqueterie, and the general lines, which distinguish this French Hepplewhite furniture from the Parisian models of the same or a slightly earlier date, even when the latter have been frankly imitated, as is frequently the case. In the chairs of this period, however, many of these indications are frequently absent. The frames are generally size-grounded and gilt, or painted white or cream, with the mouldings or the ornament

BIiE« SETTEE, PAINTED AND GILT. 6 ft. 6 ins. long 3 ft. oi ins. high. Date about 1780 85.

20 5

pickcd out with gold. In an original state, which is highly exceptional, the tone of the gilding is in itself some indication of nationality, the English gold being usually of a ruddy yellow, as compared with the pure lemon-yellow of the Fiench gold of this period. Where, however, the chair has been stripped, which is usually the case, the coloui of the gilding offers no indication, the only reliable criterion being that of form, workmanship, or character of the carving, all of which are much more apparent in the actual piece than in the illustration. Fig. 236 is a typical French model, the general form being that of the later Louis Ouinz? of 1760-70. The chair, however, is made from English beech, now painted, but probably gilded in the original instance. The caning is not original. The squares left at the bases of the arms indicate that the chair was intended to be fitted with a loose squab cushion.

Hepplewhite applied the French curves to the oval-backed arm-chair with conspicuous success, and the two examples given in Figs. 237 and 238 may be described as characteristic of, and peculiar to, his style. In the cresting of Fig. 237 will be noticed the Adam patera and husk, which TIepplewhite so often borrowed and adapted with advantage. This chair is made from beech, painted, and was probably parcel gilt originally, as there is no trace of preparation for the entire gilding of the frame.

In the second of these examples, Fig. 238, the general contour very much resembles that of the preceding, although the covering of the rails of the seat and back has some-

Fits. 2-to. MAHOGANY SETTEE.

6 ft. 6 ins. long x 3 ft. I in. from floor to top of back. I ft. S ins. deep. Date about 1785.

Fits. 2-to. MAHOGANY SETTEE.

6 ft. 6 ins. long x 3 ft. I in. from floor to top of back. I ft. S ins. deep. Date about 1785.

what marred the general aspect of the chair. This appears, however, to have been the original method, although the chair has been re-covered at a later date.

Hepplewhite's sofas or settees, in the French manner, are among his most successful designs. Fig. 239 has man}' points of resemblance to the arm-chair, Fig. 237, in the shaping of the front legs and the detail of patera and husks of the top rail. In Fig. 240 the back is stuffed completely over, and the frame is of white beech, prepared and gilt.

The absurd character of the next example,* plate 25 in the first edition of Hepplewhite's Cabinet-maker and Upholsterer's Guide, appears to suggest that the inception of the rational Hepplewhite French manner is later than the publication of this book, or that the firm of " A. Hepplewhite & Co." must have been very much at the mercy of the engravers of the period. The preposterous nature of this pattern, and the literal impossibility of its satisfactory execution, must have been felt by the authors of the Guide, as it is only found in the first edition, being omitted in the second and third. It will be noticed that the seat has really no depth, as the arms, if carried upwards from the legs, and backwards, would follow the line of the seat on the same level—in fact, would not be arms at all in the true sense of the word. This design probably represents a " fill-up "—in modern parlance—and could not possibly have

Fig. 241. "FRENCH SOFA."

Plate 25 in the first edition of the Guide. This plate is not found in the second and third editions.

Fig. 241. "FRENCH SOFA."

Plate 25 in the first edition of the Guide. This plate is not found in the second and third editions.

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