Chippendale, for one thing, was chief among the first to break away determinedly from traditions which had been held in veneration for very many years; furthermore, he practically originated a new style, or perhaps it would be more correct to say a series of styles, new to this country, for his work was many sided.
Of the early life of Chippendale few, if any, particulars are available, and we know little or nothing of the opening years of his business career. But that he was not long in "making a name/' and, moreover, in winning commercial success, we do know; for we find him, at a comparatively early age, occupying extensive premises in a quarter of London wrhich was then most fashionable, viz.:—Saint Martin's Lane. (The only remaining portion of these premises, by the way, has only recently come into the hands of the " housebreaker.") He enjoyed the distinguished patronage of the royalty and nobility of his time; in fact, it would seem that the belles and beaux of the courts of the early Georges came to regard the establishment of this famous old " upholder " as a convenient rendezvous where, whether they were in search of furniture or not, they might congregate together and discuss matters of moment, or the tittle-tattle of the day—the fall of Walpole ; the " chances " at Culloden ; the resignation of Pitt; the king's madness; the outbursts of Lord George Gordon; or, more probably still, the latest escapade of the
Duchess of X-, Y-, or Z-. We can picture the dandies of the period, bewigged and bepowdered, vying with one another to win a smile, or the tap of a fan, from the reigning beauties in their paint and patches, by the relation of the latest choice bit of scandal from the coffee-house. How the brilliant colouring of their silks, satins, and velvets must have "set off" the rich mahogany environment of "Louis-Quinze," "Chinese," "Gothick," and "Ribbon-Back" creations placed there to tempt their patronage. And, to complete the picture, there was the crowd of chair-men, patiently wait-
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