Thomas Chippendale, 1762
The Lady Lever Art Gallery
Furnishing such as this Chinese-inspired Rococo piece grace the Royal residences—many of which are decorated in a modified Rococo style. This particular piece is the work of Thomas Chippendale—perhaps the most celebrated name in English furniture design.
When Chippendale first arrived in London from Yorkshire in the 1750’s, he came without any connections or opportunities and made a name for himself by publishing catalogs of his designs. By the third edition of this publication, he had already built several of the example designs that he presented. This dressing table was created for Lady Arniston and features inlays of rosewood, mahogany and maple with gilt pine and ormolu mounts. The shelf beneath the moveable mirror would have been hidden behind a curtain which is now lost.
As styles changed from the Rococo to the Neoclassical, so did Chippendale’s designs. This Rococo style, however, remained a popular model and Chippendale would create modified versions of this piece throughout his career.