Style In Furniture

of Heppelwhite. What delicate details exist are, with but very few exceptions, sustained by stronger ones, their association with which conveys an impression of security. But we can see plainly that this designer did not at all approve of the "wiry" pediment, though he did indulge in it occasionally in deference to prevailing demands. As regards this member, we find him at his best in the suggestions that appear in Figs. 9, 10, and 11, Plate VII.

These are well conceived, admirably proportioned, and extremely graceful in line; and the appearance of delicacy and lightness is cleverly attained without the slightest sacrifice of security or strength. The first of the three, it is true, is pierced right through, but the wrood in which the piercing has been executed is of sufficient thickness to support that operation without giving rise to any fear of disastrous results. To sum up briefly the pediments peculiar to the three styles we have before us — "Chippendale/' " Heppelwhite/' and " Sheraton." The first were based on good old " Classic" lines, and, though graceful, were somewhat heavy in appearance; the second went to the other extreme, and looked almost as if the least shaking would bring them down on our heads, or a puff of wind would blow them away; while the last attained the happy medium, combining the three desired qualities—strength, lightness, and grace.

The fire screen was another article that commenced to win popularity in this country earlier in the century, and the favour which it enjoyed was unquestionably partly due to the efforts of Chippendale, who paid considerable attention to its design, and presented it in many attractive and pleasing guises. It took two principal forms. First there was the "banner" or "pole" screen—a comparatively small piece of textile fabric, framed in with wood or metal, and decoratively supported by a swing " arm" of brass, or mounted on an upright pillar or standard. Then came the " horse " screen, a

"SHERATON" 189

larger panel of silk, tapestry, or some other material, in a wooden frame, and supported by " claw " or other feet.

Of the first variety we have a graceful example in Fig. 3, Plate IV., styled by Sheraton a " tripod screen "; another, of a similar type, appears in Fig. 9, Plate V. The latter was intended for " finishing in white and gold, and the other was to be made in mahogany, or japanned/' Writing of these screens as a class, the designer explains : " The rods . . . are all supposed to have a hole through them, and a pulley let in near the top on which the line passes, and a weight being enclosed in the tassel, the screen is balanced to any height. . . . Such screens as have very fine prints, or worked satin, commonly have a glass before them. In which case a frame is made, with a rabbet to receive the glass, and another to receive the straining frame, to prevent it from breaking the glass; and to enclose the straining frame a bead ismitredround."

The "pole" or "tripod" screen has its advantages where it is desired to protect the face alone from the heat of the fire, which works havoc with the best of complexions, and is furthermore far from beneficial to the eyes ; but to shield the body as well something further is required. This is furnished by the "horse" screen, and we will now take a glance at Sheraton's rendering of that article.

He did not illustrate many, which is rather surprising when we remember how prolific in their production were the French cabinet makers of the " Louis-Seize," the style so beloved of Sheraton; but a typical model of one of those that he did show appears in Fig. 2, Plate VII. This is, I need hardly say, " after the French manner," and it was intended that the panel should be filled with embroidered silk. Another form of "horse" screen, introduced by this maker himself, was supported in the centre by a " tripod," instead of at the sides as shown on Plate VII.; it was so constructed that the upper part turned on a swivel, so that it might be put at any angle without moving the whole.

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