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Drawing - A design for a rococo chimney piece which appeared as plate no.179 in The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director (1762 ed.), Thomas Chippendale
  • A design for a rococo chimney piece which appeared as plate no.179 in The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director (1762 ed.), Thomas Chippendale
    Chippendale, Thomas Sr, born 1718 - died 1779
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A design for a rococo chimney piece which appeared as plate no.179 in The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director (1762 ed.), Thomas Chippendale

  • Object:

    Drawing

  • Place of origin:

    London (designed)

  • Date:

    ca.1753-1762 (designed)

  • Artist/Maker:

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

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Pen, ink, wash and pencil on paper

  • Museum number:

    D.703-1906

  • Gallery location:

    Prints & Drawings Study Room, level E, case W, shelf 9, box A(II)

This design for a chimney piece appeared as plate number 179 in The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director. The plate was engraved by Matthias Darly (b.ca.1720 –d.1781) who engraved many of Chippendale’s designs for the Director. The design demonstrates the elaborate rococo style which became popular during the first half of the 18th century. Like the decorative details within this design, the rococo was characterised by curved asymmetric ornamentation and natural motifs. The presence of curved candle holders demonstrates the use of mirror glass as an important lighting device during the 18th century where the reflection of the candle light would have been extremely beneficial.

Thomas Chippendale was a fashionable designer and cabinet-maker in the eighteenth-century, providing furniture to such famous contemporary figures as David Garrick. His company produced high-quality furniture, including some key masterpieces, but Chippendale's outstanding skill was in design. His pattern-book The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director went through three editions in the 1750s and 60s and inspired trade catalogues and pattern-books from fellow designers. Usually produced by architects, a large, elegant pattern-book was an ambitious project for a craftsman at this time. The Director showed the full range of furniture available in the eighteenth century, and the range of styles that were fashionable. Chippendale created a trademark fusion of rococo style with Chinese and gothic elements, which was the basis of 'English' rococo. His style influenced furniture design in contemporary Europe and colonial America, and had a marked Victorian revival in England. The Director designs were the main source for Chippendale's high reputation until his furniture was first identified in 1906.

Physical description

A design for a mantelpiece and overmantel in rococo style. The mantelpiece has scrollwork and floral ornament, and a faint design drawn in pencil on the central cartouche. The mirror is curved with a central section and four sections surrounding above; decorated with fruit, flowers, and scrollwork and a central trophy of a bow and arrow.

Place of Origin

London (designed)

Date

ca.1753-1762 (designed)

Artist/maker

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

Materials and Techniques

Pen, ink, wash and pencil on paper

Dimensions

Width: 195 mm, Height: 223 mm

Historical context note

This design appeared as Plate 179 in the third edition of Chippendale's pattern-book The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director. The details varied slightly in the engraving.

Descriptive line

A design for a rococo chimney piece, engraved and published in the Director (1762 ed.), pen, ink, wash and pencil on paper, ca.1753-1762, Thomas Chippendale

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

The Gentleman and Cabinet Maker's Director, 1762, pl.179

Materials

Pen; Pencil; Paper

Techniques

Drawn

Subjects depicted

Mantels; Overmantel mirrors

Categories

Designs; Furniture

Production Type

Design

Collection

Prints, Drawings & Paintings Collection

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