Thomas Chippendale is possibly the most well-known furniture designer of all time, he produced furniture during the early 18th century and his name has become synonymous with quality and style during his lifetime that cache continues to this day.
Chippendale style was hugely influential in England, and this influence extended across the world particularly to the America, where his designs were widely copied.
Chippendale became most famous for his chairs, which had a carved and pierced back splat, a serpentine top rail, and cabriole chair legs with ball and claw feet. Chippendale furniture was considered very elegant and it challenged the French claim that they had the best furniture designers in the world.
Thomas Chippendale worked out of the St Martin’s Lane area of London, an area that in the middle of the 18th century as full of craftsmen, architects and designers. Chippendale’s furniture featured pieces for reception rooms in grand historic estates and also less grand pieces for kitchen and laundry rooms. He often supplied a complete interior decorating service, including curtains, wallpaper and furniture.
Together with Mathew Darly, Chippendale published a book of his patterns- The Gentleman and Cabinet Maker’s Director. Darly owned print rooms in Fleet Street and together they put together the Director, and it as this book as much has Chippendale’s undoubted skill that helped secure his position as one of the most well known of English designers. The book of patterns meant that Chippendale did not have to make all the furniture himself but instead he directed, administered and subcontracted the work of making his furniture. The pattern books success helped Chippendale gain financial backing and lead to him becoming one of the most successful cabinet makers of his day.