Proceeding to discover and deal in order with the leading characteristics of the style to which this chapter is devoted, I may say at once that those characteristics are numerous, and to gain a thorough knowledge of them all is a matter which calls for the expenditure of considerable time and not a little study. Fortunately, however, for the student, connoisseur, and collector, they are most unmistakably marked, and, therefore, present little or no difficulty in distinguishing when once known. As is only natural, extraordinarily faithful copies of original pieces have been manufactured in vast numbers, particularly during recent years. They are still being turned out by the van-load, and to distinguish the spurious from the genuine—spurious, that is to say, so far as date of production is concerned—is not by any means so simple a matter; indeed, in order to succeed, we need long practical experience. To the question of style, however, and not that of authenticity, we shall devote our attention principally.
In the preparation—I use the word "preparation" intentionally, as of many examples we can hardly say "origination" —of his designs, Chippendale appropriated ideas often and without hesitation from many sources; at one time dallying. with the " Go thick," as it was then called; at another with the Chinese as rendered by Sir William Chambers; and nearly always keeping up an intimate converse with the French. From the last named, indeed, he drew most freely for inspiration, and to that section, therefore, of his work which is most strongly influenced by it we will turn our attention first; for examples belonging to that phase are the most numerous.
It is, of course, only natural that a few of the very earliest productions of this designer and maker should possess some, at least, of the characteristics of the style which prevailed in this country from the end of the seventeenth century to the time that saw the commencement of his business career, namely the " Queen-Anne," yet the extent to which they did
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