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Saturday, 5 April 2014

Thomas Chippendale

Thomas Chippendale was born at Otley, West Riding of Yorkshire on June 5, 1718. He was the only child of John Chippendale (1690–1768), joiner, and his first wife Mary (née Drake) (1693–1729).

The Chippendale family had long been in the wood working trades and so Thomas probably received his basic training from his father.
Thomas Chippendale

On May 19, 1748 Thomas Chippendale married Catherine Redshaw at St George's Chapel, Mayfair, London. They had five boys and four girls.

He set up a workshop in St Martin's Lane, London in 1754, in partnership with a merchant, James Rannie (d.1766).

Chippendale’s 1754 unusually detailed and wide-ranging collection of furniture designs, The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker’s Director, was the first comprehensive trade catalog of its kind.

"A Design for a State Bed" from the Director, 1762

The only wood used by Thomas Chippendale was mahogany.

Chippendale became famous for his graceful Neoclassical furniture, especially cabinets and chairs and his self-promotional zeal ensured they became a by-word for elegance among England’s 18th-century elite. However his lack of business acumen saw him die like a pauper.


Although he was head of an important company and very well-known, Chippendale was not the greatest English furniture maker. He spent much of his time running his business and collecting furniture, most of it in the rococo style, rather than making it.

Walt Disney's animated chipmunks Chip 'n' Dale are named after him.

Source Wikipedia

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