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Article

Christopher Gilbert

(b Belgern, nr Leipzig, 1741; d c. 1806).

German cabinetmaker. By 1770 he was established as a master cabinetmaker in Leipzig. An important early patron was the art dealer Karl Christian Heinrich Rost (1742–98), who commissioned furniture closely based on French and English models. In 1788 Hoffman obtained a loan to extend his business in Leipzig and a subsidiary workshop at Eilenburg; his total workforce was 16 tradesmen. In 1789, after a dispute with the local guild of cabinetmakers, he published his first pattern book, Abbildungen der vornehmsten Tischlerarbeiten, welche verfertiget und zu haben sind bey Friedrich Gottlob Hoffmann, wohnhaft auf dem alten Neumarkt in Leipzig, an anthology of designs for household furniture, mostly inspired by the Louis XVI Neo-classical style. In 1795 he produced a second catalogue, Neues Verzeichnis und Muster-Charte des Meubles-Magazin, in which English design types are dominant. A number of pieces corresponding to plates in these two pattern books have been identified (e.g. sofa, ...

Article

Rosamond Allwood

(fl c. 1790–c. 1839).

English furniture designer. In the mid-1830s he described himself as ‘an upholsterer of fourty five years experience’. He produced a series of pattern books containing designs for furniture and upholstery that was widely used by commercial cabinetmakers. The Modern Style of Cabinet Work Exemplified (1829) was reprinted in an improved version in 1835 and was still in demand in the trade as late as 1862, when it was reissued unaltered. King claimed that ‘as far as possible the English style is carefully blended with Parisian taste’ in the 227 designs, but he also included Grecian and Gothic furniture. King’s interpretation of the prevailing French taste is a typically confused mixture of bold Baroque scrolls and lighter Rococo curves. His Designs for Carving and Gilding (1830) contains both Greek and Rococo Revival designs, as does Modern Designs for Household Furniture (n.d.). In 1833 King published a book of full-size designs for makers of cabinets, chairs and sofas, turners and carvers entitled ...

Article

James Yorke

(fl London, 1760–c. 1770).

English furniture designer and cabinetmaker. He was recorded as working in the Haymarket, London, from 1760 until 1766, but no furniture documented or labelled from his workshop has been identified. In 1760 he contributed 50 designs to Houshold Furniture in Genteel Taste, sponsored by a Society of Upholsterers and Cabinetmakers, and in the same year he published the Carpenter’s Compleat Guide to the Whole System of Gothic Railing, which consisted of 14 plates. There followed the Cabinet and Chair-maker’s Real Friend and Companion in 1765, with designs for 100 chairs in Gothic, chinoiserie, Rococo and Rustic styles. A second edition, virtually unaltered, appeared in 1775. In 1766 he brought out the Chair-maker’s Guide, containing ‘upwards of Two Hundered New and Genteel Designs … for Gothic, Chinese, Ribbon and other chairs’; it includes two plates from William Ince and John Mayhew’s Universal System of Household Furniture and at least six from ...

Article

James Yorke

(b ?Stockton-upon-Tees, Co. Durham; bur London, Oct 27, 1806).

English furniture designer. In his obituary he was described as ‘a native of Stockton-upon-Tees, and for many years a journeyman cabinetmaker, but who since about the year 1793, has supported himself, a wife and two children, by his exertions as an author’. In his first pattern-book of 1791–3 he described himself as a cabinetmaker, but a trade card of about 1796 (London, BM) indicates that he was a professional furniture designer and drawing-master rather than the owner of a workshop. He is first recorded as being in London in 1791 but he returned to Co. Durham c. 1800–02, where he was ordained as a Baptist minister. His remaining four years were spent in London, and he was buried at St James’s, Piccadilly. In 1804 he was described by Adam Black, a publisher, as ‘a Man of Talents, and, I believe, of genuine piety. He understands the cabinet business—I believe was bred to it, he has been, and perhaps at present is, a preacher; he is a scholar, writes well; draws, in my opinion masterly; is an author, bookseller, stationer and teacher’....

Article

Rosamond Allwood

(fl c. London, 1786–1828).

English furniture designer. He published in three parts his influential A Collection of Designs for Household Furniture and Interior Decoration, with 158 plates dating from 1804 to 1807, issued in one volume in 1808. It was available plain or for a guinea extra ‘elegantly coloured’ and was the most comprehensive pattern book of Regency furniture designs. Most of the designs are based on ancient Greek or Roman forms and display the influence of Thomas Hope, whose house in Duchess Street, London, was open to the public from 1804. Smith also included a few Egyptian, Gothic and Chinese designs. On the title-page of the book Smith is described as ‘Upholder Extraordinary to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales’, but little is known of his cabinetmaking activities, and no furniture by him has been identified. Smith contributed furniture designs to Rudolf Ackermann’s Repository of Arts, and in 1812 he published A Collection of Ornamental Designs after the Manner of the Antique...