Style In Furniture

that the reader will already have come to the conclusion with regard to these productions that, taking them all in all, any-one who set himself to improve upon genuine "Sheraton," either in regard to general convenience or elegance, would have a hard task. Many have tried, but few have succeeded.

We see, then, that by the time this designer had done with it, the sideboard—as distinct from the older " side-table" with its attendant pedestals and vases, which produced such a " grand effect"—had become firmly established in the British home as an indispensable item in the dining-room, and from that day forward continued to grow in dimensions—though certainly not in grace !—until it assumed proportions altogether and unwarrantably unwieldy.

We will take " Sheraton " bookcases next; and it must be noted that this designer paid very considerable attention to the development of these articles, some capital types of which are illustrated on Plates IV* and V. In writing of these, I may point out, in the first place, that here again we find the same regard—remarked upon earlier in the chapter—paid to that cardinal principle of decorative art which dictates that ornament should be subordinated to construction—a principle Sheraton never intentionally violated. Of Fig. 5, Plate IV., a typical example, the designer says : "The use of this piece is to hold books in the upper part, and in the lower it contains a writing-drawer and clothes-press shelves. The design is intended to be executed in satinwood, and the ornaments japanned. It may, however, be done in mahogany, and, in place of the ornaments in the friezes, flutes may be substituted. The pediment is simply a segment of a circle, and it may end in the form of a fan, with leaves in the centre. The vases may be omitted to reduce the work; but, if they are introduced, the pedestal on which the centre vase rests is merely a piece of thin wood, with a necking and base moulding mitred round and planted on the pediment. The pilasters on the bookcase doors are planted on the frame, and the doors


Plate 56

Reference in Text

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