Styles - Late Georgian

LATER GEORGIAN: Adam, Hepplewhite and Sheraton (1770-1810)
A number of styles succeeded and partially overlapped each other during these years:

Adam: the Adam brothers, Robert and James, were primarily architects, but their interest in design did not stop with the building itself. Not only did they plan the layout of their mansions, but usually they decided the decoration and colouring of the principal rooms and the furniture to go in them. Their work was inspired by ancient Greek and Roman art, and most of their decorative ideas were borrowed from those sources. The honeysuckle (anthemion), the ram's head and hoof, and garlands of husks are typical features. The work of the Adams was carried out between 1760 and 1790 and many of their designs for furniture were actually made by Thomas Chippendale's firm.

Hepplewhite: George Hepplewhite was a cabinet-maker whose business was run later by his widow, who published a book of his designs. These show pieces of simple form and small size; one of the most noticeable is perhaps the chair with a heart-shaped or a shield-shaped back. Sometimes the shield holds a pierced and carved Prince-of- Wales feather.

Sheraton: Thomas Sheraton published his first book of patterns in 1791. His designs show furniture that is much more slender in line than hitherto, and he led a return to the use of" inlay; with this his name seems to be linked inseparably. Inlay often took the form of cross-banding and stringing, and a common feature was an oval shell of satiriwood, scorched to imitate shading. After about 1800, square legs were replaced by turned ones with reeding. Sheraton's most characteristic chairs have rectangular backs with horizontal bars. Use was made of satin-wood, as well as the more general mahogany, either painted or inlaid or left quite plain.



Collectable Antiques: