Chippendale

ing with their gaily-bedizened chairs at the doors, to solicit favours or receive orders. There can be little doubt that many a time a visit to Chippendale was made to serve as an excuse for a morning gossip ; and it can well be surmised that the prototypes of not a few of the characters in " The School for Scandal" were personally well known to this fashionable old tradesman. But I must not be tempted to draw upon imagination, enticing as it is to do so when dealing with a period so filled with romantic memories. Plain facts await our attention, and it is with facts that it is our first duty to deal here.

Before proceeding further, let me insist that the fact that Chippendale may be regarded as the pioneer, or, at any rate, as the chief among the pioneers of the movement which eventually resulted in the evolution of our late eighteenth-century furniture—which commanded the unrestrained admiration of the whole of the civilised world—furnishes no justification whatever for the all too common practice of lauding him and his work " to the skies."

It is very common to meet people—I personally have met them—supposed to have a knowledge of the history of furniture instructing art classes (they are or have been on boards of examiners appointed by our National Science and Art Department, and " on the press " their name is " Legion !") who regard as " Chippendale" everything designed or manufactured in this country during the period that elapsed between the years 1750 and 1800. And, the worst of it is, they make a point of posing as guides and counsellers in this branch of study, when all the time they ought, themselves, to be reading up the subject.

Not only has the name " Chippendale" fallen into common use as applied to styles with which it has nothing whatever to do, but, through being frequently employed in the trade to indicate a certain depth of colour in mahogany— a depth of colour for which age is solely responsible, and

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