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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Offering of the day: A Fine Chippendale Drop-Leaf Table

 Chippendale Walnut Drop-Leaf Table
Delaware Valley, late 18th century
28 3/4” high x  41 3/4” wide x  16 1/4” deep
With a shaped apron, raised on cabriole legs ending in claw and ball feet

Thomas Chippendale is one of the most influential and celebrated cabinetmakers of all time.  His designs not only established the remarkable reputation of English Georgian furniture, but also that of its American colonial counterpart.  Born in 1718 in the small town of Otley, Yorkshire, Chippendale was from birth destined to become a furniture maker.  He was born into a family of joiners and carpenters, but recognition of his talents did not come until his relocation to London in 1748.  There, he established himself in a workshop in St. Martin's Lane, the most fashionable address for any London cabinetmaker. 

Chippendale's influence traveled abroad by way of his much celebrated The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director, first published in 1754.  The publication was sold in Germany, Spain, Portugal, the Low Countries, France and ultimately in America.  While English Chippendale furniture displayed a great variety of rococo, Chinese, and Gothic designs in combination with Georgian classical forms, American Chippendale remained more faithful to the architecturally solid Georgian.

This table represents the best in American Chippendale furniture design and its lovely condition is testament to the esteem its various owners have maintained for it during the past two and a half centuries.

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