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are dumb-waiters and carving-tables of un-inlaid mahogany, and very delightful plain trays, usually round ones ; but there are singularly few sideboards of the carved mahogany period, that is to say, of the period before satinwood inlaying became the fashion. Mr. Orrock had in his possession a truly magnificent Adam sideboard (Plate 44), with its two end cupboards surmounted by their urn knife-boxes, and an elaborate rail of ormolu, not brass, across the back. This is perhaps the finest known, and possibly one of the finest ever made.

Knife-boxes and wine-coolers in mahogany are also worth the attention of collectors, and the same may be said of the thing which Chippendale not only invented, but made more exquisitely than it has ever been made before or since, namely, the bracket. One of his fine sets of bracket shelves, with fret sides jutting out slightly in the centre front of the lower shelves, is a thing to search for, and when found to save at any cost. Reproductions of these brackets should sell by the thousand if any modern maker had the enterprise to buy one of the originals, and have it carefully copied without trying to improve upon it!

GEORGE Ill's BEDSTEAD in the State Bedroom at Goodwood House, Sussex. A typical XVIII century bedstead, with fine carved posts in the Chippendale manner.

Mahogany four-post bedsteads used to be quite plentiful, though not, as far as the cornices are concerned, of the elaborate style shown in Chippendale's book. Posts were often to be met with which were not unlike those drawn by him, but the craze for easy cleanliness, and saving of trouble to the servants, which brought in the iron or brass bedstead, completely ousted the four-poster. They had gone mostly to the cottagers, who bought them because they were to be had for less money than the new iron ones; and they would still be in existence in quantities but for the bright idea invented by some clever lady, of using up the best of the old posts by turning them into what are called " lampstands." This idea was so successful and remunerative that it is quite difficult to find an old mahogany bedstead with beautiful posts at the present time, though many people are willing to purchase them. However, the metal bedstead has proved just as difficult to keep clean and in order as the wooden one, and fashion has decreed that wood is less unsightly. At the time of writing, wood is all in favour once more, and the few four-posters remaining may therefore escape cutting up. Many of the fine old country houses in

5i which England is so rich contain very beautiful carved bedsteads in oak and mahogany. Indeed, the state bedroom in an important house invariably contains a most imposing bed, and some of these, though rather florid in design, produce with their elaborate carving a very rich effect.

LIGNUM VIT^ CHEST OF DRAWERS ON STAND. Stuart period. {In the possession of F. Fenn, Esq.) The spiral legs tapering towards the top are very fine. Other features of interest are the rounded mouldings between the drawers, and the geometrical inlay of sycamore wood.

the fifth chapter

INLAID MAHOGANY AND SATIN WOOD

HEN Chippendale, Hepple-white, the Adam brothers, and others seemed almost to have exhausted the possibilities of mahogany, it occurred to some one (we do not know for certain that it was Sheraton) to revert to inlaying as a means of decoration or embellishment for furniture. Whether Sheraton was the actual originator of the new style or not, the designs he drew for it, and the pieces which he had made of it, were so exquisite that this particular style is known exclusively by his name, though very few people can ever hope to be possessors of a veritable piece from his own small workshop in Soho.

The poor unsuccessful drawing master's book on furniture making, with its insistence on the necessity of drawing according to the rules of perspective, shows in a pathetic way that he was a born artist, just as much as his pieces of furniture show that he was also a born colourist. Born at Stockton-on-Tees, he

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