John Channon and Brass-inlaid Furniture, 1730-1760
Amongst the most ostentatiously splendid masterpieces of English furniture are a group embellished with engraved brass inlay and rich ormolu mounts. Dating from about 1730-60, made of exotic timbers and many displaying highly flamboyant Rococo personalities, they have traditionally been attributed to the workshops of John Channon, one of Chippendale's neighbours and rivals in St Martin's Lane. However, new research indicates that there were at least five London cabinet makers specializing in brass-inlaid furniture at the time, and six leading furniture historians have combined forces with Christopher Gilbert and Tessa Murdoch to reinvestigate the whole question of authorship, and to look again at the origins of the phenomenon of brass-inlaid furniture.
The contributors to this handsomely illustrated volume have discovered fresh information about the Channon family, and place English brass-inlaid furniture firmly within the context of French and German traditions. They trace continental design sources for decorative elements, illuminate the structure of the London cabinet-making trade, and identify and attribute different workshop groups to various previously shadowy firms, several of whom have German links.
For the first time all recorded and traceable examples of English brass-inlaid furniture dating from the reign of George Il are discussed and illustrated with many examples in colour. Publication will coincide with an exhibition of brass-inlaid furniture by Channon and his circle at Temple Newsam House in Leeds, opening on 20 October 1993 and moving to the Victoria and Albert Museum on 16 February 1994, for which this book serves as the catalogue.
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