The Chippendale furniture workshop was founded by Thomas Chippendale (1718-1779), a Yorkshireman and son of a joiner who became one of London’s finest cabinet makers of the mid-eighteenth century. In 1754, Chippendale became the first cabinet maker to publish a book of his designs, entitled ‘The Gentleman and Cabinet Maker’s Director’, which was a great success, and led to his designs being copied and reproduced not only in London, but across Britain, on the Continent, and around the world.
The workshop was continued by his son, who worked predominantly in the Regency neo-Classical style. The family firm collapsed in the early 19th century, but Chippendale-style furniture retained its popularity and remains highly desirable to this day. In recent years, some particularly rare examples of original Chippendale furniture have sold for over £3m at auction.
The profoundly influential 20th-century artist and designer Josef Frank pioneered a style of furniture that was lightweight, floral and elegant in its simplicity.