Thomas Chippendale (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 Chippendale Library Chair c.1768 fashionable 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 Nostell Priory.
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.


Extracted from Britain Express


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