Style in furniture

I was forced to recognise the fact that to deal fully, in the space at my disposal, with every period of transition was out of the question; to follow such a course would necessitate the publication of many bulky volumes. Considering, then, what would be the best plan to adopt, I determined to deal, in the main, with each style at its fullest development, and to discuss the individual peculiarities of every one; feeling that then the recognition of transitional examples would involve but small difficulty. When we are familiar with the characteristic types of all the distinct styles, it is a very simple matter to distinguish when the decline of one set in and the birth of another took place, and, consequently, to classify correctly the somewhat hybrid productions that belonged to intervening periods. 1

I .must now turn once again from mere generalisation to the more immediate discussion of the particular types I have selected for illustration, in order to make clear to the reader in what respect the 44 Louis-Seize" was really the foundation of much which was best in our own " Heppelwhite " and "Sheraton/' In the first place, we may set ourselves to note the radical changes which were brought about in the general forms of the furniture that drove the Rococo from its position of pre-eminence, and for a time completely took its place. Here we find a revolution indeed. While 14 Louis-Quinze " ornamentation, even at the best, was to a very large extent constructive—i.e. usurped the place of that which should have been construction pure and simple—that of the true 44 Louis-Seize 99 never, in any circumstances, transgressed beyond what were its legitimate limitations. It was designed entirely for, and regarded solely as, an enrichment for a foundation, or basis, already provided by the cabinet maker or chair maker for the carver, inlayer, or painter to beautify. This is a most important point for the student to bear in mind. In this style we have no longer to deal with a multitude of curves in the shaping, or an abundance of coquillage, apparently of the




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