Chippendale (1750-1790)

Chippendale refers to a style of English furniture produced in the 1750s and 1760s based on the designs of London cabinetmaker Thomas Chippendale (1718-1779). It is best characterized by openwork and ornamental carving in a style reminiscent of Rococo. In 1754, Chippendale produced the design book, The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker’s Director. It was published again in 1755, and a revised, larger version appeared in 1762. Chippendale was not the most famous London maker of his time, but when antiquarians and furniture historians began to designate style periods, the name Chippendale was assigned to most of the English and then American Rococo-style furniture because of this publication. Chippendale furniture embodies a baroque, flourished scrolled styling, with deeply carved, highly curved lines, as well as rich and delicate ornament that combine to create harmonious forms.

Heather Bowling, Digital Collections Content Coordinator, 2016.

Drawn from

  • John T. Kirk, American Furniture: Understanding Styles, Construction, and Quality. New York: Harry N Abrams, Inc., Publishers, 2000.
  • Elizabeth Birdwell Bates and Jonathan L. Fairbanks. American Furniture: 1620 to the Present. New York: Richard Marek Publishers, 1981.
  • Getty Vocabulary, AAT (Chippendale, AAT: 300021214).