knowledge of every salient feature of " Chippendale-French/' sufficient indeed to entitle him to be regarded as an authority upon the subject.

I will turn now to another phase of this designer's work. Having dealt with him in his French moods, it will be interesting to see what measure of success attended his efforts to follow in the footsteps of Sir William Chambers, whose interest in all things Chinese led him, as we have seen in a previous chapter, to publish a series of plates devoted to the architecture and furniture of the Land of the Sun, and to endeavour to induce the British cabinet maker to take a leaf occasionally out of the book of his " Celestial " fellow-craftsmen. Chambers's enterprise was not successful, for reasons which may be discussed further presently ; hence we are naturally curious to discover whether Chippendale met with any better fortune, and, if so, why ?

First, let us compare the designs which the former published with those prepared and presented to the public by the "upholder" of Saint Martin's Lane. It was a case of friendly competition between architect and furniture designer—both of them, by-the-bye, enjoying the special patronage of royalty —and it is for us to judge now which of the two carried off the laurels.

I have said that the favoured architect of George the First, notwithstanding his ability, failed in this direction, and I will not make such an assertion without furnishing proof of its truth, and, if possible, explaining the cause of failure. That the suggestions which came from his pencil were far more faithful, in every particular, to the original Chinese by which they were inspired than were those of Chippendale is incontestable, and that fact is one of the main reasons why they "fell flat." That which may be in every way admirably suited to the Chinese home must not necessarily be expected to appeal with success to our Western tastes, as was Practically illustrated in the case in point. Chambers's h

0 0

Post a comment