each having three glazed doors, were sold for 230 guineas, while, at the same sale, twelve very ordinary torchères, fifty-five inches high, of mahogany and satinwood, in the form of tripod altars, and carved with festoons of drapery, acanthus foliage, and similar detail, brought 44 guineas. Finally, the sale of some of the property of the late Mr. John Hargreaves, of Maiden Erleigh, near Reading (held by Messrs. Walton and Lee, of London) comprised a quantity of choice " Chippendale," including a six feet carved mahogany table, with marble top (faulty), which sold for £28, and a mahogany cabinet, four feet wide, with glazed front and sides, and quaintly designed open top for china, which sold for ¿128. At the same sale, one of the greatest bargains of late years was secured in a beautifully carved "Chippendale" suite from the ball-room, upholstered in tapestry of a Persian pattern, which comprised six " small " chairs, a pair of armchairs, and a settee, five feet six inches long, and was knocked down for .£50. Four comparatively commonplace carved mahogany chairs fetched £j.
It will be remarked from the foregoing that prices vary vastly according to the locality in which sales are held, the class of buyers present, and more particularly the absence or presence of sharp dealers. At many a country auction, attended only by villagers, I have seen fine old pieces " go " for a few shillings, which, had they been sent to "Christie's," or had one or two London dealers been present, would have been sold at very high prices.
" HEPPELWHITE "
To pass from the study of "Chippendale" to that of the work of Heppelwhite, or, to speak more precisely, of Messrs. A. Heppelwhite & Co., is to be brought face to face with one of the greatest and most remarkable changes which ever occurred in the development of British furniture, and that occurred too in a comparatively brief space of time.
While the former style predominated, notwithstanding that it was in every respect much lighter, and perhaps on the whole more graceful, than its predecessors of the seventeenth century—except, of course, the "Queen-Anne"—the English cabinet maker was unable to shake himself free from the bondage of that sturdy heaviness—typical, some would have it, of our national temperament—by which his efforts had for so long been constricted. In those days .the furnishing of the home seems to have been regarded as a most serious, if not solemn, undertaking, typifying the wealth and dignity of the household, and anything approaching flippancy was rigidly excluded from it.
One of the most gifted of modern humorists, and one whose death was indeed an event to be lamented—I refer to the genial Mr. Corney Grain—in his advice to " those about to furnish," pointed out that :—
" Of course, you must buy old 4 Chippendale,' So spindle-shanked, and slender, and frail, That every time you sit down in a chair Your legs go wandering up in the air,"
but that prince of kindly satirists laboured under a misapprehension. Applied to some of the work of Heppelwhite ar*d Sheraton those words would be more applicable. As
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