Collection

Georgian Dining Chairs

Collection: When modernism goes bad

Category: Furniture

Date: Circa 1780

Designer: Thomas Sheraton

Nationality of Designer: British

Manufacturer: Chippendale Sheraton

Manufacturers Location: England (U.K)

Material: Mahogany

Dimensions: Height 83 cm x Depth 51 cm

Purchase Price: Donation

Abstract:

Georgian Dining Chair

Provenance:

Gift from Adam Sutherland's mother.

Adaptions/renovations:

Reupholstered with 50's pattern, good condition

About the Designer/Maker:

Thomas Sheraton (1751- 1806) may not have excelled as a businessman - he died in poverty in 1806 - but as a designer of furniture he was outstanding. His designs are synonymous with grace and simplicity, and noted for their use of satinwood and beautiful inlays.

Born in Stockton - Upon - Tees, Sheraton is seen as one of the most influential furniture designers of the time, along with Thomas Chippendale and George Hepelwhite. After moving to London in 1790, he set up as a professional consultant and teacher, teaching perspective, architecture and cabinet design for craftsmen.

In 1799, Sheraton left London to become a Baptist minister at Stockton and Darlington, Yorkshire, and continued in this work until 1802. He passed his last years in London, where he died on Oct. 22, 1806.

From 1791, he published in four volumes "The Cabinet Maker's and Upholsterer's Drawing Book", which was greatly popular with fellow cabinet makers and joiners, who subscribed to his book. His designs were intended "to exhibit the present taste of furniture" and "at the same time to give the workman some assistance". During this period, it is believed that Sheraton himself never made any of the pieces shown in his books. So a piece of furniture described as being "by Sheraton" refers to the design and not to the maker of the piece.

Sheraton's name is associated with the styles of furniture fashionable in the 1790s and early 1800s. Many of the designs are based on classical architecture, knowledge of which was an essential part of a designer's technical education. Not all of the drawings are of his own design; he acknowledges that some of them came from works in progress in the workshops of practicing cabinet makers.

The Edinburgh publisher Adam Black wrote of Sheraton's abject poverty in later life, and spoke of his gifts as a scholar, designer, and teacher.

Bibliography & Further information

English Furniture Styles from 1500 to 1830, Ralph Fastnedge, Penguin, 1955, ISBN 0140203095

English Furniture Designs of the Eighteenth Century, Peter Ward-Jackson, Victoria and Albert Publications, 1958, ISBN 0905209486