Published at Sunday, September 23rd, 2018 - 09:22:52 AM. Chair. By Bettine Regnier.
The squat style chairs with heavy backs that were carved like a piece of paneling gave way to taller, more slender and elegant chairs. The framework of these chairs were less carved and new directions were taken as far as how these chairs were ornamented. Cabinet makers of the Restoration began to take advantage of the opportunities given to them to design these new chairs. Chairs began to take on an elaborate construction with graceful semicircular ornaments that connected all four legs by a vase shaped knob in the center. The arms and legs of the chairs of this period were scrolled with the splats of the back containing a rich arrangement of spirals and scrolls.
The most popular of these chairs were the ones made so by the cavaliers who had been exiled by Charles II. During the reign of William and Mary these chairs degenerated into chairs that were more stiff and rectangular with a solid fiddle shaped splat and a cabriole leg with pad feet. Chairs that were a bit more ornamental had cane seats and caned backs. It is from these forms that the Chippendale chair was developed. This chair had an elaborately interlaced back, graceful arms and square legs. The Chippendale chair to this day is one of the most popular designs in history. It was created by Thomas Chippendale who lived from 1718 to 1779. He was one of the big three furniture makers of the 18th century along with Thomas Sheraton and George Hepplewhite. In 1754 he published a book of his designs which included the Chippendale chair design.
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