If we are asked to conjure up a name associated with antique furniture, most of us will come up with the name Thomas Chippendale. Much like furniture companies today, Chippendale had his own catalogue, ‘The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker’s Director’, from which clients could choose what they wanted.
Chippendale’s antique dining chairs typically had carved bowed cresting rails and the back splat was pierced and carved. However, there were some variations to this basic design. The ribbon and rippling bow design to the carved back reflected Rococo styling that was in vogue during the 1750s. Some chairs had a lyre back, therefore pushing it more towards the classical style which followed Rococo. Other chairs reflected the Chinese taste. These striking chairs had geometric lattice fretwork with plain or carved motifs, often with a pagoda shaped cresting rail. There was also a Gothic design where the piecing and carving on the splat resembled Gothic architecture. The style of leg fitted to Chippendale dining chairs was normally the cabriole, which had been in fashion since the time of Queen Anne. Cheaper chairs could have much plainer square legs and the Chinese version of the chair would reflect the fretwork styling of the back splat.
The mixture of different stylings meant that Chippendale was able to move quite effortlessly from the light and fluffy Rococo to the much more restrained Neo Classical – that is why his furniture remained popular. Period versions of his chair designs are sought after today and were revived many times during the Victorian period. If you would like to buy some Chippendale revival antique Victorian dining chairs , Preston dealers would be able to show you some good examples.