nature, they appear to be quite unsuited, and have actually in many instances to be supported themselves in order to bear the weight imposed upon them. Need I say that the new rule was a vast step in the right direction ? It was not beneficial only so far as regarded French furniture, for the British cabinet maker—at least those who take a pride in sustaining( the best traditions of their craft—may be truly thankful that the change referred to came about in time to exercise a counteracting influence on the Rococo fever which, had invaded this country, owing to the exertions put forth all too successfully by Thomas Chippendale to spread the infection which he had contracted, and from which he himself was suffering badly.
Had this reaction, to which I have intentionally referred at some length, not come about in France when it did, it is quite within the bounds of possibility that what we may term the " Chippendale-Rococo " would have enjoyed a far longer run of popularity in this country, which would unquestionably have been a great misfortune. Had Heppelwhite and Sheraton not had before them the example set by the u Louis-Seize" they might have continued on the old lines laid down by their predecessor, and the dainty creations which they eventually produced, based on this new French style, would never have seen the light. Thus it is that we are really as intimately concerned with the changes which took place in the applied arts of France at this time as were the people of that country themselves.
A glance at all the chairs and seats illustrated on the accompanying plates will at once make strikingly clear the extent of the change which came about in the designing of the forms of those articles alone, apart from any others.
As a beginning of our comparative analysis, let us look at the legs first—a most indispensable feature. The pure " Louis-Quinze" chair-leg was never, under any conditions;
straight; it was always curviliuear, generally in that shaping
BEDROOM OF MARIE ANTOINETTE. CHATEAU DE COMPIEGNE
(See page 263)
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