Thomas Chippendale

(redirected from Chippendale chair)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus.
Related to Chippendale chair: Chippendale furniture

Chippendale, Thomas

(chĭp`əndāl'), 1718–79, celebrated English cabinetmaker. His designs were so widely followed that a whole general category of 18th-century English furniture is commonly grouped under his name. Chippendale's Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director, an illustrated trade catalog first published in 1754, was widely influential in England and America. Among the numerous pieces stamped with his style, it is possible to assign unquestionably to his own workshop only those for which the original bills still remain, as in the case of Harewood House and Nostell Priory, whose furnishings were created by him. While he based his work upon the general Queen Anne and Georgian characteristics of sober design and thoroughly fine construction, retaining many of the early 18th-century details, Chippendale's distinction was to introduce many other forms. For these he used three outside inspirations—Chinese, Gothic, and contemporaneous French rococorococo
, style in architecture, especially in interiors and the decorative arts, which originated in France and was widely used in Europe in the 18th cent. The term may be derived from the French words rocaille and coquille
..... Click the link for more information.
. The first two resulted naturally from the general mid-18th-century enthusiasms for chinoiseriechinoiserie
, decorative work produced under the influence of Chinese art, applied particularly to the more fanciful and extravagant manifestations. Intimations of Eastern art reached Europe in the Middle Ages in the porcelains brought by returning travelers.
..... Click the link for more information.
 decoration and pseudo-Gothic architecture. Chippendale's name is emphatically identified with the extensive variety of chair types that he developed—from geometrical to Chinese, lattice, or sumptuously carved and interlaced forms. Chippendale's varied output also included desks; mirror frames; hanging bookshelves; settees, with which he was especially successful; china cabinets and bookcases, frequently with fretted cornices and latticework glazed doors; and tables with delicately fretted galleries and distinctive cluster-column legs of Gothic inspiration. The last phase of his career shows the influence of the designs of Robert Adam. Chippendale's style, quickly imported to America, was imitated by a number of expert cabinetmakers.


See studies by A. Coleridge (1968) and C. Gilbert (2 vol. 1986).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2013, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Chippendale, Thomas


Baptized June 5, 1718, in Otley, Yorkshire; buried Nov. 13, 1779, in London. English cabinetmaker.

Chippendale settled in London around 1738, where in time he established the unique Chippendale style. Chippendale’s furniture designs, which favored the use of mahogany, combined utility of form, comfort, and clarity of structure with delicate lines and intricate patterns. The designs combined motifs of Chinese art, the Gothic, and the rococo. In the 18th century, furniture in the Chippendale style was known throughout Europe, including Russia. In 1754, Chippendale published his album of furniture designs, The Gentleman and Cabinet Maker’s Director.


Lowe, J. Möbel von Thomas Chippendale. Darmstadt, 1955.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The most recounted tale among the Arrowsmiths is how Arthur gave new life to a set of six Chippendale chairs and sold them on - only to regret the low price and then make a desperate bid to buy them back.
It's the same at Rock Hall Museum, where the new artifacts are now on display, part of the effort to tell a fuller story of the people who lived here -- and not just the people who were likely to sit on Chippendale chairs and pluck a harp.
Highlights include the Academy dining chairs in rattan with leather details, inspired by Chippendale chairs found in Texada.
Black and white Chippendale chairs in Robert Allen tapestry fabric accompany these pieces.
The Georgian townhouse in Charlotte Square is filled with antique furniture, including a mahogany dining table, a Chippendale mirror and four Chippendale chairs, as well as paintings by Scottish artists.
Solid mahogany Chippendale chairs and a double pedestal dining table, a four poster bed and a broken pediment bed are "new" 18th century pieces from Stickley.
In a divorce proceeding, joint property is typically divided evenly between the parties: from a set of eight Chippendale chairs each would get four, unless one wanted the whole set and the other accepted some other property of equal value.
(The unit would cost $2.7 and furnished $3.5, excluding the art on the walls.) Equipped with its anticipated inhabitants in mind, the unit contains Chippendale chairs, a baby grand piano, among other touches of fine taste.
What makes the display of the collection unusual is the method of classification employed, as Keeper of Furniture, Textiles and Fashions Christopher Wilk explains: 'This is not about designers or styles; it is about the way furniture has been made and decorated, from the medieval period to today.' So, instead of the usual groupings-of, say clusters of Chippendale chairs or modernist masterpieces --there are fresh juxtapositions based on their manufacture.