Born on 5th of June 1718
Died in London
Died on 0st of November 1779
Thomas Chippendale remains Britainís most famous furniture maker and designer. He was a two-fold genius: first in his furniture making; secondly in his marketing of that furniture.
Chippendale was a Yorkshireman, born in Otley in 1718, the son of a joiner. His talent required a bigger stage, so after his 1748 marriage he moved the following year to London, working his way up the social and trade scale as he progressed from Conduit Street to Northumberland court and eventually to a shop in St Martinís Lane.
His greatest stroke of genius was the publication of The Gentleman and Cabinet Makerís Director in 1754, produced in collaboration with the artist Matthew Darly: part catalogue part style-guide, it was his making.
Chippendale ran his shop in St Martinís with his business partner the upholsterer James Rannie. They stocked not only furniture but soft-furnishings and wallpapers, and provided what we would call interior decoration services to their rich clientele Ė Chippendale furniture still adorns some of our great stately homes: Paxton House; Harewood House; Blair Castle; and several royal residences.
As his great Director demonstrates Chippendale was at home in several styles: Chinese; Rococo; neo-Gothic, and strangely to modern tastes he felt at home mixing those styles. He kept control of the quality of the craftsmanship by employing either journeymen housed in workshops next to his shop, or the best sub-contractors. His business was extremely fashionable and successful, but after Chippendale died in 1779 his son, also Thomas, showed himself a far less gifted businessman, going bankrupt in 1804.
http://www.britainexpress.com/History/bio/chippendale.htm Britain Expresses page
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