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Wedgwood and Flaxman

Josiah Wedgwood, too, turned his attention to the production of plaques in relief, for adaptation to chimney pieces of this character. In a letter written from London to Mr. Bentley, his partner, at the works, he deplores the lack of encouragement in this direction which he received from the architects of his day; he, however, persevered, and by the aid of Flaxman's inimitable artistic skill as a modeller, made several plaques of his beautiful jasper ware, which were let in to the friezes of chimney pieces, and also into other woodwork. There can be seen in the South Kensington Museum a pair of pedestals of this period (1770-1790) so ornamented.

It is now necessary to consider the work of a group of English cabinet makers, who not only produced a great deal of excellent furniture, but who also published a large number of designs drawn with extreme care and a considerable degree of artistic skill.

The first of these, and the best known, was Thomas Chippendale, who is said to have been born in Worcester. He appears to have succeeded his father, a chair maker, and to have carried on a large and successful business in St. Martin's Lane, London, which was at this time an important Art centre, and close to the newly-founded Royal Academy.

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