CHIPPENDALE, Thomas (1718-1779)
The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director: being a large collection of the most elegant and useful designs of household furniture, in the most fashionable taste ... The Third Edition
London: Printed for the Author, 1762. Folio. (17 1/2 x 10 3/4 inches). , 20pp. Engraved dedication, 200 engraved plates by Darly, Foster, Taylor, Cloues, Miller and others after designs by Chippendale.
Contemporary mottled calf, expertly rebacked to style
Provenance: James Malcom, Halifax NS (signature on title dated 1827); John Brander, Halifax NS (inscription dated 1891)
The third and best edition of Chippendale's groundbreaking furniture pattern book, the first and most important published book of furniture designs in 18th century England: this copy with provenance to a 19th century Canadian cabinetmaker.
The Director was intended to function as a trade catalogue. The third, and best, edition, containing an additional 39 plates not found in the previous editions of 1754 and 1755, and the last edition to be published in Chippendale's lifetime. The third edition began to appear in installments in 1759, and was completed in 1762.
Although Thomas Chippendale's famous pattern book, The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker's Director, was first published in 1754 and reissued the following year, it was only with a greatly enlarged new edition in 1762 that it had a serious influence in America, particularly in Philadelphia. Several copies are known to have been available there during the 1760s and, not surprisingly, Chippendale's richly carved style had a pervasive influence on local cabinetmaking" (Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2000).
The Director principally depicts four of Chippendale's most famous styles: English, French rococo, Chinoiserie, and Gothic. "His special claim for artistic fame is as a brilliantly original, innovative, and influential designer who also made masterpieces of furniture. His designs were plagiarized from at least the early Victorian period by the publisher John Weale, and more or less free adaptations from The Director have been a staple product of commercial furniture makers since the mid-nineteenth century.
Chippendale's Director was extensively used by furniture makers, making copies with the plates in good condition exceptional.
Brunet I, 1844; ONeal 26. Berlin Catalogue 1227.