Chippendale

many of which are fearful and wonderful to behold, and cause us to sigh longingly for a return to the dignified simplicity and restraint of the good old " Queen-Anne," with something closely resembling which, by-the-bye, Chippendale does favour us occasionally, but all too rarely. But it is not my province to indulge too freely in criticism of this point; my aim is simply to make as clear as possible the main characteristics of the style itself " with all faults as lotted/'

As a further illustration of the extent to which this cabinet maker sometimes allowed his leaning towards the Rococo to carry him beyond the bounds of all reason, and to lead him to the perpetration of all manner of absurdities, I may refer to the frame of the wall-mirror, Plate I., girandole (candle-bracket) Plate II.; mirror, Plate III.; and other similar pieces in the following plates. Apart from their unredeemed ugliness these examples are constructionally open to very grave objection, and for the following reason. Much of the pierced and carved detail is really too delicate to be produced in wood, for, obvi-ously, a great deal of it must unavoidably be cut across the grain; this being the case, as anyone who possesses the smallest knowledge of the nature of wood will be well aware, a very slight pressure is sufficient to cause breakage. If cast or forged in metal no serious objection could be urged against them on the score of construction ; but in brittle wood they invite disaster, and are, therefore, to say the least, undesirable as articles of furniture for everyday use.

No review of " Chippendale " would be complete without special mention of his famous "ribbon-back" chairs, which have time and again been singled out for particular praise by writers who are looked up to by a certain section of the com- , munity. I have, therefore, included a couple of examples of that type, which will be found on Plate IV. Here we have constructional ornament with a vengeance ! Whether it is to be defended or condemned is a question which opens up great possibilities of discussion, and many supporters of both sides

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