Relevant categories: Dining Chairs,Dining Tables
(Above photo - Chippendale Display Cabinet - Glazed Antique Mahogany 1900)
Are you looking to buy a piece of furniture designed and made by Thomas Chippendale? If so, then you have come to the right place as one of the most distinctive antique furniture styles, Chippendale’s pieces are popular and can be sold for six-figure prices. We will let you worry about the money as we show you some of the features defining Chippendale antiques. Today, you can find pieces of furniture made by Chippendale or modern imitations following his drawings and patterns.
The following are some of the defining characteristics of Chippendale antiques:
(Above photo - Antique Victorian Dining Table Extending Mahogany Cabriole legs 1840)
Chippendale antiques borrowed heavily from the gone Queen Anne era when the carefully carved cabriole legs became popular. Most chairs and table by Chippendale wouldn’t have their legs in the form of the distinctive serpentine shape. However, cabriole legs come in three unique styles depending on the foot end. They include the club-type foot, the lion’s paw, and the ball & claw foot.
However, Chippendale also made furniture with straight, square legs, tapered legs with a four-sided foot, and the plain square. Later in his professional life, Chippendale started producing furniture with a straight leg ending in a block foot. This was commonly used on chests together with the ogee bracket foot. Usually, the outside edges of the portion would be in the form of an S-curve, an element from the Queen Anne era.
(Above photo - Set 12 Chippendale Mahogany Arm Chairs Dining Chair Ball and Claw Feet)
One of the reasons why Chippendale managed to create elaborate hand-carved details on his furniture pieces is the availability of high-quality mahogany. By that time, Britain was importing mahogany from West Indies, feeding furniture workshops around the country. Furniture makers hardly used veneers but preferred to carve details like C-scrolls, acanthus leaves, fluting, rosettes, and scallop shells into the wood. Across the Atlantic, American furniture makers chose cherry wood, which was abundantly available. However, some furniture makers would use other woods where mahogany and cherry were lacking.
(Above photo - 10 English Chippendale Mahogany Dining Chairs Diners)
Many different types of furniture were produced in the Chippendale style in both England and the United States. A good example is dining tables, gaming tables, grandfather clocks, desks, dressing tables, bureaus, high chests, and chests of drawers. Taller furniture pieces often had finials and pediments at the top.
At that time, furniture makers produced armchairs with intricate carvings of splat in the back. Even though made in the same style, furniture pieces would differ in shape and style depending on where they were made. So, you might confuse some chairs and erroneously decide they do not belong to this style.
The characteristics discussed above describe the basic form and shape of Chippendale antiques. In summary, you can tell that you have a genuine Chippendale antique by looking at the legs, wood types, and types of furniture. However, you might not find any maker’s marks since it wasn’t Chippendale’s habit to leave any of them. Therefore, you should focus on the carved motifs, hardware in the batwing design, and handmade nails. Sofas from that era often had camelbacks, marking them out from the rest.
10 English Chippendale Mahogan...
Set 12 Chippendale Mahogany A...
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