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THOMAS CHIPPENDALE 1718-1779 ref: 50HC
Little is known of Chippendale's early life - the first record is of his marriage to Catherine Redshaw in London in 1748. In 1753 he moved to St. Martin's Lane, where he lived and maintained a showroom and workshops. Chippendale owes most of his posthumous reputation to his celebrated "Gentleman and Cabinet Maker's Director" published in 1754, rather than to his own craftsmanship, for although his name is given to great quantities of mid-eighteenth century furniture, very few pieces can be assigned with certainty to his workshop, where, once established, he ceased to make the furniture himself. The Director was the most important collection of furniture designs ever published in England, and it illustrated almost every type of fashionable domestic furniture. Rococo was the predominant style, but there were many offshoots of Chinese and Gothic taste too.