Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Furnishings by Heppelwhite

      Heppelwhite was the style to follow Chippendale. George Heppel white died in 1786 and the furniture business he had established was carried on by his widow, Alice, under the name of A. Heppelwhite & Co.
      The first edition of his book, "The Cabinet-maker and Upholsterer's Guide," did not appear until two years after his death.
      Heppelwhite's designs were of a severe straight line style based on classic principles. His shield-backed chairs are his best known type. The square, tapering leg with a spade foot, is most used, although turning is sometimes employed but never the cabriole leg so popular with Chippendale. A distinguishing feature of Heppelwhite chair backs was the use of the Prince of Wales plume. Sheraton never used this in his chair designs and it is a feature that often settles the author- ship of certain patterns that otherwise are very similar. Another distinguishing feature is that Heppelwhite's shield back chairs usually have a plain, curved top rail, while Sheraton's are broken or with a small rectangular panel in the center.
      Upholstering and cane were both used on chairs and settees. Carvings were very delicate and refined. Veneering, marqueterie and painting were all used. Mahogany was the popular wood.
      Characteristic features of the style are: Honeysuckle, wheat ear and water leaf ornament; shield back chairs and straight legs.
Upholstered Settee, from Heppelwhite's Book.
Top left, Heppelwhite Shield Back Chair, showing Heppelwhite
Top right, Shield Back Chair, from Prince of Wales Plume, South his book. Kensington Museum.
Bottom left, Chair from Heppelwhite's Book, showing
Bottom right, Upholstered Wing Chair, from Heppel- Prince of Wales Plume. white's Boole.
Top, Sideboard from Heppelwhite's Book, showing Concave Corners, Square Leg and Spade Foot.
Bottom left, Bed from Heppelwhite's Book.
Bottom right, Heppelwhite Chest of Drawers with LIBRARY Removable Toilet.
Heppelwhite Bed, from his book.

Features and Overall Designs of Chippendale Furniture

      Thomas Chippendale was the first designer to so impress his personality on his work that the particular style that he helped develop has borne his name ever since. He was a carver by trade, but later started in business in St. Martins Lane, London. His book, the "Gentlemen's and Cabinetmakers' Directory," was published in 1754 and a later edition in 1762.
      Chippendale chairs are probably better known than any of his other work. They are noted for their beautiful proportions and delicate carvings. His designs were largely a combination of Gothic, rococo and Chinese detail, all of which he combined with rare skill. His Chinese frets were exceptionally fine. One class of his designs was very similar to the Louis XV. style, so popular in France at that time. The cabriole leg, ball and claw-foot, were both used by him as also were a variety of straight, square legs, plain or with the Chinese fret work laid on or cut through. The slip seat was a characteristic feature of his chairs.
      Chippendale's book shows designs for a great variety of all kinds of furniture. Mahogany was the principal wood used. Carving was the method of ornamentation. Chippendale never used inlay and very little turning.
      Characteristic features of the style are: Latticed and ribbon-backed chairs, bands of fret work and rococo carvings.

Chippendale Settee at South Kensington Museum.
Top left, Chippendale Arm' Chair, Middle of 18th Century. South Kensington Museum.
Top right, Ribbon Back Chair, from Chippendale's Book.
Bottom left, Chippendale, about 1740.
Bottom right, Fine Carved Chippendale Chair, about 1740.
Top left, Chinese Chair, from Chippendale's Book.
Top right, Gothic Chair, Chippendale's Book.
Middle, Chippendale Round-about Chair.
Bottom left, Chinese Chair, from Chippendale's Book.
Bottom right, Gothic Chair, from Chippendale's Book.
Top, Bookcase, from Chippendale's Book.
Bottom left, Chippendale Desk, made about 1760.
Bottom right, Chippendale Chair. South Kensington Museum.

Tables from Chippendale's Book of Designs.
Bottom, Chippendale Toilet Table, made about 1730.
Chippendale State Bed, from an 18th Century Design.
Secretary, from Chippendale's Book.
Chinese Chippendale Chair from Chippendale's book.

Early Colonial Furnishings from The United States

      The name of this style is derived from the Colonial days of the United States and was the outgrowth of the furniture brought over from the mother country of the various colonies.
      The New England and Virginia settlements were made by the English, and their furniture was mostly of the Georgian period, Chippendale, Sheraton, Adam, etc. New Orleans was settled by the French and here we find furniture of the Louis and Empire periods. To New York came the Dutch with their Dutch and Flemish furniture, so we have three distinct types of Colonial furniture Dutch, English and French. The Colonial style was developed from these by making them plainer, leaving off ornament and simplifying them in every way possible, but retaining the original outlines and proportions. It must be borne in mind that Colonial furniture and Colonial styles are two separate things. Many of the pieces which have come down to us from the Colonial days are pure Chippendale, Sheraton or other styles and are recognized as such nowadays, so we find the Colonial style of today is the result of the gradual development of ideas derived from this old furniture just as in the past, new styles were the outgrowth of the older ones.
      'Strictly speaking, the name Colonial would only apply to furniture in this country before the Declaration of Independence. If this classification was observed, it would disqualify half of the furniture now owned by antiquarian and historical societies. So it has become customary to classify as Colonial, furniture made for some years after 1776. This old furniture has been gradually gathered in museums and private collections, and there are a number of books devoted entirely to Colonial furniture, so it is the purpose of this book to only show a few of the more interesting examples.

Typical old New England Settle, With Folding Candlestick Holder.
Top left, Windsor Chair, from Washington's Presidential Mansion, Philadelphia.
Top right, 18th Century Windsor Chair.
Bottom left, Early 18th Century Splint Bottom Chair, belonged to William Penn.
Bottom right, Rust. Bottom Chair in Boston.
Top, Louis XVI. Style. Sheraton Style. Chairs owned by George Washington.
Bottom left, Empire Chair, made in Paris, Brought to the United States,
and owned by President Monroe. Bottom right, Empire Chair from
 the library of Napoleon I. Afterwards owned in New Orleans, La.
Top left, Cane Chair with Spanish Foot. Owned by Connecticut Historical Society,
 Hartford, Conn. Top right, Cane Chair, 17th Century English Style. Owned by the
 Connecticut Historical Society, Hartford, Conn. Bottom two chairs are Dutch Chairs.
 Owned by the American Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Mass.

Top Sofa of the Early 19th Century Type, Owned by Worcester Society of Antiquity,
 Worcester, Mass. Middle, Table in Salem, Mass.,  Jacobean style, known as
'gate" or "thousand leg" table. The legs swing back allowing the leaves to drop
down at sides. Bottom, Sofa in the Sheraton Style. Owned by the American
Antiquarian Society, Worcester, Mass.

Top right, Mahogany Chest of Drawers, in Hartford, Conn.
Middle, Secretary given to Stephen Girard by Joseph Bonaparte.
Bottom right, Thomas Jefferson's Desk.
Top, Console Table in the Empire Style.
Middle, Dressing Table, owned by the Concord Antiquarian
Society, Concord, Mass.
Bottom, Bombe-shaped Chest of Drawers, in Salem, Mass.
Tables and Sideboard, now owned in Baltimore.
George Washington's Desk, owned by Historical Society of Pennsylvania.

Examples of Renaissance Furniture from Belgium

      The early Flemish style in Belgium closely followed the Italian and French work; but their later designs were made much plainer and they developed a type that had strong characteristics of its own. It was a style very suitable for oak, the principal wood used. The Flemish style, which gets its name from that part of Belgium called Flanders, was very similar to the Elizabethan and Jacobean in England, and no doubt the latter named styles were considerably influenced by it.
Carved Flemish Cabinet.
Top left, Flemish Carved Chair Back.
Top right, Flemish Chair, about 1678.
Bottom right, Flemish Oak Chest, 17th Century.
Bottom right, Corner of Flemish Bed, from the Plantin Museum, Antwerp.

Examples of Renaissance Furniture from Germany

      In Germany the early Renaissance designers closely followed the work of Italy and France and later they did considerable work in the rococo style. They were also influenced by the classic revival that did so much for the furniture of France and England during the latter part of the 18th century.
German Renaissance Toilet Stands and Chairs. In Museum, Dresden. 17th Century.

German Rococo Chair.

Examples of Renaissance Furniture from Holland

      The Dutch Renaissance of Holland and the Netherlands was, of course, greatly influenced by the Flemish and French work, but the tendency of their designers was towards plainer surfaces and less ornament.
      The early Dutch were great traders with the east and they brought back many rare colored woods which were used on their furniture in the form of veneers and inlays developing into what is known as Dutch marquetrie.

Top right, Dutch Renaissance Chair, from a book published in 1642.
Bottom left, Cabinet Inlaid with Dutch Marqueterie.
Bottom right, Dutch Splat Back Chair.

L'Art Nouveau Furniture Styles

      This style was brought prominently before the public at the Paris Exposition in 1900. The style is based on naturalistic principles. Motifs are the root of the tree, trunk, branches, leaves and vines twisted into all manner of shapes. It had its greatest run in Austria and France, but has not proved very satisfactory for furniture and is probably better adapted to metal work or wall and cloth designs.
Cabinet Shown at Paris Exposition, 1900.

Top, Art Nouveau Upholstered Arm Chair, shown at the Paris Exposition, 1900.
Bottom, Art Nouveau Chair, with Inlaid Back and Upholstered Seat, shown at Paris Exposition.

Examples of Renaissance Furniture from Spain

      The furniture and ornament of Spain and Portugal was strongly influenced by the Moorish style owing to their close proximity to Morocco. They were never great furniture builders, and old Spanish furniture is very scarce. During their conquest of Belgium and the Netherlands, some of their characteristics found their way into those countries and what is known as the Spanish foot, is often seen on Flemish and Dutch furniture.
Top two, Spanish Cabinets.
Bottom left, Spanish Chest.
Bottom right, Spanish Chair.

Spanish Renaissance Chair, showing Spanish Foot.

Victorian Era Furniture

      During the early years of the 19th century, an unsuccessful attempt was made to copy the Empire style, but after the brilliant work of the 18th century, English furniture designing sank to a low ebb. All sorts of cheap, flimsy ornaments were used and it was not until the middle of the century that styles began to improve.
      In 1868, Mr. Charles Eastlake, an architect, published  "Hints on Household Taste," which was responsible for what is known as the Eastlake style.
      William Morris was a designer and decorator of exceptional ability and by his lectures and work (1860-1896) did much to improve public taste. His work was along simple lines similar to the Arts and Crafts style in England today and the Mission in the United States.

Design for morning-room or library, in light oak or walnut. by Morris & Company.

Table and Chairs from Eastlake's Book, "Hints on Household Taste," 1868.

Jacobean Furniture Designs

      There is no distinct line of demarcation between the late Elizabethan and early Jacobean. The same style of ornamentation was used for some time, but there was a gradual change from the heavy and somewhat over-ornamented Elizabethan to severer forms and less ornament. Some of the later work became quite plain rectangular, square, diamond and L-shaped molded panels were much used. Turned legs and supports became popular. Most of the carving was cut into the solid wood instead of the raised or applied kind. Inlaying was also used in a limited way.
      Chairs with cane backs and seats were popular and of a much lighter design than the Elizabethan. Upholstering was used on some of the plainer styles of chairs and settees.
      The Jacobean was contemporaneous with the Flemish style and was considerably influenced by it.
      Elizabethan, Jacobean and Flemish styles can be used together in perfect harmony in furnishing a room. Oak was the wood of the period. By referring to the chronological table, it will be seen that the Jacobean period covered the reign of several monarchs and certain types of the period are sometimes referred to as James I., Charles II., etc., according to whose reign they were designed under.
      Characteristics of the styles: Paneling, molding, turned and spiral legs, flat or cut-in carving and a straight line style of construction.
Early Type of Jacobean Sideboard, South Kensington Museum, London.
Top, Jacobean, an early example of the Court Cupboard, dated 1606.
Bottom, An Example of Late Jacobean Work.
Top, Old Jacobean Sideboard.
Bottom, Jacobean Table, about 1660.


Top left, Jacobean Stool, 1640.
Top right, Jacobean, late 17th Century. South Kensington Museum.
Bottom left, Jacobean Wood Seat Chair, about 1055.
Bottom right, Jacobean Upholstered Chair, about 1614.
Top, Jacobean Cabinet, about 1630.
Bottom, Old Jacobean Carved Chest.

Top two, Jacobean Upholstered Chairs of the Cromwellian Period.
Bottom left, Jacobean Chair with Inlaid Back.
Bottom right, Jacobean Carved Chair, Dated 1668.

Furniture Built During the Reign of William and Mary

      With the ascension of Mary and her Dutch husband, William of Orange, to the English throne, Dutch influences prevailed. Many of the court attaches were Dutch and brought much of their furniture with them. English workmen copied these patterns with such changes as their taste suggested and a new style was gradually developed which became known as William and Mary.
      General simplicity of ornament prevailed, veneering came into style and Dutch inlaying was popular.
      The William and Mary type was really the beginning of Queen Anne style but had some distinct features which entitled it to a place of its own. Oak and walnut were the principal woods used.
      Characteristic features of the style are: Turned legs, curved under-framing and arched tops to cabinets and frames.
William and Mary Dressing Table, showing Typical
Turned Legs and Curved Underframing.
Top left, William and Mary Carved Back Chair.
Top right, William and Mary Upholstered Chair.
Bottom left, William amd Mary Chair, about 1090.
Bottom right, William and Mary Cane Back Chair.
William. and Mary Arched Tap Writing Cabinet, about 1690.

Queen Anne Furniture Styles

      In the Queen Anne style we have a type that is a complete change from the early English Renaissance. Furniture under the reign of William and Mary formed a connecting link between the Jacobean and Queen Anne styles, but under Dutch influences, the old rectangular forms gave way to curved lines and more graceful proportions. Chairs which had previously been stiff and uncomfortable, were now shaped to fit the anatomy of the human form. Upholstering came into general use and all kinds of "overstuffed" chairs and settees were graceful and comfortable. The slip seat came into style about this time.
       The curved splat-backed chair is another type of the period. The cabriole leg was introduced and is a distinct feature of the style. It was first made plain, but later carving was added, generally in the form of a shell-like ornament at the knee. The hoof, ball and claw-foot were also used. The cabriole leg was first introduced by the Dutch traders from China where it had been used for hundreds of years and probably originated from animal forms. The ball and claw-foot also came from China, where it represented the foot of the dragon holding the mystic jewel. The cabriole leg was adapted to various uses. It was low and sturdy under heavy cabinets and tall and slender for tables and chairs.
      Veneering was extensively used and Dutch marquetrie was popular. Walnut was the principal wood but some mahogany was used during the latter days. Queen Anne style predominated from the reign of William and Mary until the end of the reign of George II.
      Characteristic features of the style: The cabriole leg, under-framing, splat-back chairs with curved seat frames, arch top cabinets, etc.
Top, Queen Anne Marquetrie Settee with Slip Seat and Cabriole Legs,
with Ball Claw-foot and Shell Carving at Knee, about 1710. Bottom left,
Queen Anne Carved Chair, in South Kensington Museum. Bottom right,
Queen Anne Marquetrie Chair, with Curved Underframing.
Top, Queen Anne Upholstered Settee, with Plain Cabriole Leg and Hoof Foot.
Bottom left, Queen Anne Carved Chair, with Turned Underframing.
Bottom right, Queen Anne Upholstered Chair, about 1710.
Top left, Queen Anne Upholstered Chair, with Loose Cushion, 1705.
Top right, Removable Toilet, used on Table Below.
Bottom left, Queen Anne Toilet Table, Plain Cabriole Leg and Hoof Foot
Bottom right, Queen Anne Hoof Foot Chair.
Queen Anne Bed at Hampton Court Palace.
Top, Queen Anne Highboy or Chest of Drawers. Inlaid Band Around Drawers.
Bottom, Queen Anne Carved Table, about 1710.