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Pergolesi, Cipriani, and Angelica Kauffman



The design of furniture was modified to harmonize with such decoration. The sideboard had a straight and not infrequently a serpentine- shaped front, with square tapering legs, and was surmounted by a pair of urn-shaped knife cases, the wood used being almost invariably mahogany with the inlay generally of plain flutings relieved by fans or oval paterœ in satin wood.

Piranesi, Cipriani and Angelica Kauffman had been attracted to England by the promise of lucrative employment, and not only decorated the panels of ceilings and walls which were enriched by Adams's " compo" (in reality a revival of the old Italian gesso work), but also painted the ornamental cabinets, occasional tables, and chairs of the time. Some of the work of Angelica Kauffmann as a decorative artist may still be seen in several houses in Adelphi Terrace, in the Arts Club, and in many private residences, of which there is a very useful list in Miss Frances Gerard's biography of the artist, published in 1892.

Towards the end of the century, satin wood was introduced into England from the East Indies; it became very fashionable, and was a favourite ground-work for decoration, the medallions of figure subjects, generally of cupids, wood-nymphs, or illustrations of mythological fables, on darker colored wood, formed an effective relief to the yellow satin wood. Sometimes the cabinet, writing table, or spindle-legged occasional piece was made entirely of this wood, having no other decoration beyond the beautiful marking of carefully-chosen veneers; sometimes it was banded with tulipwood or harewood (a name given to sycamore artificially stained), and at other times painted as just described. A very beautiful example of this last-named treatment is the dressing table in the South Kensington Museum, which we give as an illustration on the opposite page.

Besides Chambers, there were several other architects who designed furniture about this time who have been almost forgotten. Abraham Swan, some of whose designs for wooden chimney pieces in the quasi-classic style are given, flourished about 1758. John Garter, who published "Specimens of Ancient Sculpture and Painting"; Nicholas Revitt and James Stewart, who jointly published " Antiquities of Athens " in 1762; J.C.Kraft, who designed in Robert Adam's style; W. Thomas, M.S.A., and others, have left us many drawings of interior decorations, chiefly chimney pieces and the ornamental architraves of doors, all of them in low relief and of a classical character, as was the fashion towards the end of the eighteenth century.





















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