fore, done my best in the last hundred or more plates of illustrations and pages of text to present such justification as shall leave no loophole for those who entertain the opinion that the eighteenth century boasted but one great master of furniture design ; that that master was Chippendale; and that all his contemporaries and successors in the craft were but " small fry," of not sufficient importance for their names to be recorded—men who did nothing but sit at the feet of the great "upholder" of St. Martin's Lane, copy his ideas, and remain but humble disciples of the school which he founded.
That is, in brief, the creed of many ; a creed whose demolition has been one of my aims in penning these pages, for I believe it to be pernicious and unjustifiable in every respect. A careful examination of the foregoing plates will reveal the fact that, in the work of Chippendale, infractions of the cardinal principles of good construction, the wilful ignoring of the conditions imposed by material, and fantastic extravagance are far too frequent to be ignored by the student. The creations of Heppelwhite and Sheraton, on the other hand, are nearly, if not wholly, free from any such faults. Above all things, let us accord honour freely where honour is due ; and let us, at the same time, overlook such faults as were not committed "with malice aforethought." When those faults are repeated again and again, and, further, "gloried in," it is time to draw the line. Chippendale did a vast amount of good work, as well as much that was indefensible, and we have meted out to him full credit for it. But of Heppelwhite and Sheraton it may be said that, in spite of many temptations to transgress in numerous ways, and in spite of the example of their erratic predecessor before them —whose popular success was in a large measure due to his extravagance and eccentricity—they never wearied in well-
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