Style In Furniture

would be found. In the types under review, however, I say most emphatically, and my opinion may be accepted for what it is worth, that this constructional ornament is absolutely and utterly indefensible. An effort has been made by one writer of some repute to justify the employment of the fluttering and knotted wooden ribbon as a support for the back by claiming it as a direct descendant of the old Celtic interlacing. That argument is as far fetched as it could well be, and will not stand the test of proof. The Celtic knots and interlacing were purely conventional and decorative, being kept entirely subservient to construction ; while Chippendale's " ribbon " is ostensibly as close an imitation of the real thing as it is possible to produce in wood; it does not decorate construction, it is constructive in itself. We can only account for the popularity of the " Ribbon-Back," so far as I can see, by remembering that it belongs to what may be described as the " Pretty-Pretty School," which, I need hardly say, is always certain to be popular, especially with the fairer sex.

We have observed that Chippendale, even when he was borrowing from and adapting the French modes most extensively, generally stamped his productions with the mark of his own individuality, but I must not omit to point out that there are exceptions to that rule. The little commode by the window on Plate II., the screen on Plate IV., and two of the arm-chairs on Plates VII. and IX., though they appeared in "The Gentleman's and Cabinet Maker's Director," are not "Chippendale" but pure and unadulterated French. It would not be at all surprising to discover that they were copied direct from some Parisian originals, or perhaps from a French cabinet maker's design sheets or books.

It is not' necessary, I think, to enlarge further upon this section of Chippendale's work, for, by a careful study of the accompanying illustrations, supplemented by the explanatory remarks and criticisms I have been so bold as to offer, the reader should be able to acquire a thorough and exhaustive

Chairs. Wall mirror. Bedsteads.

0 0

Post a comment