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  • Design
    Chippendale, Thomas Sr, born 1718 - died 1779
  • Enlarge image


  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    1761 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Chippendale, Thomas Sr, born 1718 - died 1779 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Pen and ink and wash on laid paper

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 118a, case 4, shelf DR1

Object Type
These designs are from a series of 37 in the V&A. The full-title of the edition for which they were made is The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director. The volume was one of the most lavish ever devoted to furniture. It demonstrated the full range of furniture that was available at the time, from bookcases to the tea canisters, from branched wall candleholders, known as girandoles, to a clothes press.

Design & Designing
The double line down the centre of this sheet of paper divides it into two. This enables a design for two pier glasses to be shown, half on each side on the central line. Chippendale also sketched centre detail over this double line to suggest the top of the pier glass and thus enable either one, or the other, to be imagined as a whole entity.

Historical Associations
The British won a series of spectacular victories in India under Robert Clive (1725-1774) and in Canada under General James Wolfe (1727-1759). These victories occurred in the years immediately preceding the date that these designs were drawn. Chippendale featured trophies of war in the design on the right, including a group of armour, spears, flags and a sword on the bottom left. Such patriotic elements would appeal to the gentlemanly clients for whom these designs were made.

Physical description

Pen and ink and wash drawing on laid paper

Place of Origin

London (made)


1761 (made)


Chippendale, Thomas Sr, born 1718 - died 1779 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Pen and ink and wash on laid paper

Marks and inscriptions

Maker's identification; bottom left corner; signed; Pen and ink


Height: 33.4 cm, Width: 20.5 cm

Object history note

Drawn in London by Thomas Chippendale (born in Otley, West Yorkshire, 1718, died in London, 1779)

Descriptive line

Designs for Pier Glasses No 173, drawn in London by Thomas Chippendale (senior), 1761

Labels and date

British Galleries:
These designs by Chippendale are original drawings for the third edition of 'The Director' published in 1762. The mirrors were intended for piers, the wall sections between windows. The skill and inventiveness of his design drawings were the basis of Chippendale's commercial success. [27/03/2003]


Drawings; Designs


Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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