Info

chair," i.e. at £8 or £10. In no case, though, should any such purchase be re-stuffed with springs or buttoned down stuffing, either of which styles completely spoils them. I have seen an old easy-chair and also an old settee or double-ended sofa, which had been sent to a well-known London firm of upholsterers to be done up, utterly ruined in this way. As a general rule, for the safe guidance of people who wish for old furniture, let me say here, that my experience is, that there is no way of getting antique furniture done up satisfactorily out of one's own house. The best thing to do, though not the cheapest perhaps, is to have a workman sent to the furniture, instead of letting the furniture go to the workman, and then to make him understand that you intend to have the old work done in the old way as nearly as possible, and to visit him yourself several times during the day in order to make sure that he is keeping as near as possible to the original. Of course, this means paying by time, and it is impossible for an estimate of the cost to be given; but it is the only satisfactory way to get the- restoring of old furniture done, and it is often no more expensive than the ordinary way of procuring an 80

HEPPLEWHITE CHAIR. (In the possession op Mrs. Wyltie.) A typical wheat-ear chair.

PERGOLESI CHAIR. (From the collection of fames Or rock, Esq.)

CARVED CHAIR, with cane seat and back. Probably Stuart period. {At one time in the possession of S. E. Letts, Esq.)

MAHOGANY CHAIR, with honeysuckle-pattern back. (At onetime in the possession of S. E. Letts, Esq.) The honeysuckle pattern is accredited to the Hepplewhite firm, but the open work and carved legs of this chair belong to a Chippendale pattern which makes it a most unusual specimen.

estimate. Moreover, if you take into account the almost certain spoiling of the piece which will result if it is sent away and done by estimate, it is decidedly cheaper in the end.

Of Chippendale's ribbon-backed or carved-back chairs and settees, illustrations are given of some very fine examples from Mr. Orrock's collection (Plates 81 and 82). These need no description or comment, since the illustrations speak for themselves, and nowadays almost every one knows that any chairs approaching these are very well worth saving as a money speculation, even if not for their intrinsic beauty.

Another celebrated maker of chairs was Hepplewhite (see Plate 83), the first known maker to depart from the square-shaped back. His chairs usually show the shield-shaped back, and, as the basis for their ornamentation, either the wheat-ear, the honey-suckle flower, or the Prince of Wales feathers. Yet another chairmaker's style is shown in Plate 89, which is characteristic of Mainwaring, one of Chippendale's minor contemporaries.

Much more elaborate were the beautiful chairs and settees made by Pergolesi for the Adam brothers. These are not so generally n 81

well known, but the style is excellently shown in the illustrations from the very fine and perfect specimens in Mr. Orrock's collection (Plates 85, 91, and 92), which should make it possible for any one to recognize Pergolesi's work, if lucky enough to come across it. What does not show in the illustrations is the fact that these pieces are white enamelled picked out with gold, and the coverings are cashmere, painted with a design exactly suiting the chair or settee.

In conclusion I come to Sheraton's chairs. The prince of cabinet-makers did not make very beautiful chairs, but he did entirely alter the style that had been in favour before. He adopted or invented the round leg and the straight square back-rail, supported by the two principal uprights from the back legs, with a light interlaced centre-support. This, at a later period, degenerated into the hideous chair of early Victorian days, by the simple process of curving the top rail and replacing the slender perpendicular supports by the incredibly inartistic horizontal one, which is now, I believe, only used in the cheapest form of Windsor chair made for kitchen use.

Sheraton's chairs are often very beautiful

WALNUT-WOOD CHAIR,with carved shell on back and legs. Early Georgian. (One of a set in the possession of F. Fenn, Esq,) This kind of chair was in fashion for a long period, and marks the stage between the high-

MAHOGANY CHAIR. Probably by Main-waring. (In the possession of P. Egerton Hubbard, Esq.) An excellent specimen of the work of one of the less famous chair-makers. The workmanship is admirable.

in colour, being generally of satinwood or pale mahogany inlaid with satinwood, and the workmanship is very fine and delicate. Of course, for a room which is furnished in Sheraton style, they are far more suitable than any others. Few people seem to realize this, for it is quite usual to see a room furnished with delicately inlaid Sheraton-inspired furniture with heavy claw-and-ball footed Chippendale chairs, the effect being quite incongruous and untasteful. If there are several styles of antique furniture represented in the room it does not matter, but when the sideboard, the table, and the principal pieces are all Sheraton in style, it quite spoils the whole effect if the chairs are out of character; and there is the less excuse, seeing that Sheraton-style are still the cheapest antique chairs of the later makes on the market.

USEFUL BOOKS OF REFERENCE

Elements of Style in Furniture. By R. Brook.

Book of Designs, By Thomas Chippendale.

Chippendale and his Contemporaries, By K. Warren Clouston.

Furniture. By Falke.

Dictionnaire de l'Ameublement. By Henri Havard.

Book of Designs. By Hepplewhite.

Cabinet Makers' Guide. By Hepplewhite.

Illustrated History of Furniture. By Litchfield.

Specimens of Antique Carved Furniture. By A. Marshall.

Sketches of Antique Furniture. By W. C. Ogden.

Examples of Carved Oak Work in Furniture. By W. B. Sanders.

Specimens of Furniture. By Henry Shaw.

Book of Designs. By Thomas Sheraton.

Cabinet Makers' and Upholsterers' Drawing Book.

By Thomas Sheraton.

Cabinet Makers' Dictionary. By Thomas Sheraton. Furniture of our Forefathers. By Esther Singleton. English Furniture. By T. A Strange. Homes of our Forefathers. By Wright.

Plate XC

Plate XC

CARVED MAHOGANY SETTEE. Probably by Chippendale. {At one time in the possession of S. E. Letts, Esq.) This form of settee is not uncommon without the carving on the legs and front rail. The original coverings were generally woollen repp of a fine orange or dull brick-red colour.

PERGOLESI SETTEE. White enamel picked out with gold; painted woollen upholstering. (From the collection of James Orrock, Esq.)

PERGOLESI SETTEE.

  • From the collection of James Orrock, gBB8W
  • mMmiiiinmmr rwy|iiiiuiiiiiuiiiPTO^ «

PERGOLESI SETTEE.

(From the collection of James Orrock,

WHEEL-BACK WINDSOR CHAIR. (In the possession of f. Ashby Sterry, Esq.) Wheel-back Windsor chairs are quite common, but they generally have the wheel pattern cut in the centre of the solid back piece, and are without the cabriole

RAIL-BACK BEECH-WOOD CHAIR. Probably Stuart period. This is, of course, a cottage chair. This form seems to have been usual for many years, only varying in the legs, which gradually became plainer and plainer. The* r>inh fppt- and turned front rail gradually

Adam, Robert and James, 21,43, 45) 50. 53, 54, 69, 81; Plates xl, xliv, xlv

Agecroft Hall, Lancashire, carved-

oak bedstead at, Plate xix Anne, Queen, 30, 36, 46, 64, 65, 75, 76, 77, 78 ; Plates xxxiii, lxxii, lxxiii, lxxviii Armchair, stained wood, early William and Mary, 75 ; Plate Ixix

Armchair, mahogany. Late C hippendale, 79; Plate lxxx

Bad imitations really an improvement on modern designs, 1 Ball-feet, Plate iii

Bedstead, early English carved-

oak, Plate i (.Frontispiece) Bedstead, carved-oak, at Agecroft Hall, Lancashire, Stuart period, Plate xix Bedstead,oak, at Goodwood House, Sussex, Stuart period, Plate xviii Bedstead, carved-oak, in the King's room, Oxburgh Hall, Norfolk, temp. Henry VII., Plate xxi Bedstead, George the Third's, in State bedroom, Goodwood H ouse, Sussex, Plate xlvi Beech, 71, 73, 74, 75 Beech-wood chair, Plate xciv Bible-box, 19

Black, Adam, on Sheraton, 54 Black knobs, 47, 48 Black wood, 66

Bog-oak and holly inlaying, 15, 17,

18, 71 ; Plate xiii Bookcase and secretaire, mahogany inlaid, Sheraton, Plate xlviii

Bow-fronted chests of drawers, 42 ;

Plate xxxviii Bow-fronted commode, 67; Plate lvi

Boxwood, 25, 27, 66, 67, 68 Boxwood, stained green, Plate lxi. Brackets, 50; Plates, ii, iii, v, xxxiv

Bracket shelves of Chippendale, 50 Brass handles, 16, 17, 47, 48, 68 ;

Plates, xxvii, xxix, xxxviii, lvi Brasses, original, their importance,

16; Plate xv Bureau, walnut, early eighteenth-

century, 33 ; Plate xxviii Bureau, walnut, with cabinet top, William and Mary, 30 ; Plate xxvi Bureaux, 19, 20

Cabinet, Adam, late period, Plate xl.

Cabinet, ebony and tortoiseshell,

Plate xxxiii Cabinet, oak, inlaid with mother-of-

pearl, Stuart, 18 ; Plate xiv Cabinet, satinwood, Sheraton, Plate lv

" Cabinet - makers' and Upholsterers' Guide," the first comprehensive book of designs, 45 Cabriole legs, 16,40,74, 78; Plates xxxvii, xciii Candlestick stands, 48 Cane backs, 77

Cane panels, Plates lxviii, lxxvi, lxxxvi Cane seats, 77, 78 Card tables, 33, 46, 65; Plates xxxvii, lx Carved-back chairs and settees of

Chippendale, 81 Carved legs, Plate liv Carved rose of Hepplewhite, Plate xxxix Carved settees, 72 Carving, 17, 18, 36, 37, 38, 40, 76, 78; Plates xii, xiv, xvii, xviii, xix, xlvi, lxix, lxx, lxxi, lxxviii

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment