(1718-1779) was born in Otley, Yorkshire, England, the son of a carpenter.
In 1754 he published his masterful collection, Gentleman and
Cabinet-Maker's Director, a compilation of
English furniture design. This work is Chippendale's enduring legacy, and
shows his gift in adapting existing design styles to the fashion of the mid
18th century. So pervasive was the influence of the book that the name of
Chippendale is often indiscriminately applied to mid-18th century furniture
as a whole.
Chippendale's designs covered a wide range of styles, from Rococo to Gothic
and chinoiserie (oriental style). From the 1760's, Chippendale was
influenced heavily by the Neoclassical work of architect Robert Adam, with
whom he worked on several large projects, notably at Harewood House and
Many fine pieces of furniture have been attributed to Thomas Chippendale,
but verifiable pieces are rare. His designs were widely copied, and his
Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director was used heavily by other makers
in both England and North America.
The term "Chippendale" is now widely used as a convenient generic label to
describe any high quality furniture inspired by his Director designs.
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