not consider a veneered surface sufficiently durable for a dining-table.
I am always puzzled about the washstands of the walnut-wood period. There do not appear to have been any! I certainly have never seen one, or the remains of one. Probably any sort of small table was used (possibly the knee-hole table was made for that purpose) as a dressing-table, and looking-glasses hung upon the wall were common. Of the regular toilette glasses on standards to tilt, I have one that is partly oak and partly walnut, a tolerably early one (Plate 31); while Jacobean toilette glasses often with two tiers of drawers, and made of walnut wood, used to be fairly common. To me it seems that the much appreciated Chippendale and later makers—or masters, as it is now the fashion to call them— debased the most attractive and most suitable shape for a toilette-glass when they varied from the Jacobean form, and invented the shield-shape and oval toilette-glass.
EBONY AND TORTOISESHELL CABINET. This cabinet was given to Sir Christopher Wren by Queen Anne, but it is doubtful whether it is of that date. The framework is ebony and some lighter wood. The raised parts and the flats inside the moulding round the drawers and doors are of tortoiseshell laid over a bright red paste. The inside is inlaid with white ivory, and contains four mirrors divided by black pillars with gold capitals. The insides of the doors are inlaid with ivory. This piece of furniture has never been out of the possession of the Wren family, and it is reproduced here by permission of Mrs. Pigott, a lineal descendant of Sir Christopher Wren.
the fourth chapter
NLIKE oak and walnut wood, mahogany furniture is very frequently dated earlier than its actual age by the non-expert, though the difficulty of dating it is not great, the wood not having come into this country until 1724, when some was sent from the West Indies as a present to a certain Dr. Gibbon. He, so the story goes, finding that the workmen, who were building a house for him, would not use it, alleging it to be unworkable for their purpose, afterwards had a candle box made of some of it, possibly by Thomas Chippendale, who was a cabinetmaker living in St. Martin's Lane, near by the doctor. Anyhow, Thomas Chippendale appears to have been one of the first cabinetmakers to become enamoured of the new material, and his name has come down to us with renown as the producer of extremely beautiful mahogany furniture. That he only made mahogany furniture is impossible, if he was in business as a cabinet-maker when the
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