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Oscar P. Fitzgerald

(b Aberdeen, 1740; d Philadelphia, PA, March 5, 1795).

American cabinetmaker of Scottish birth. He trained as a cabinetmaker in Edinburgh and London. In 1763 he arrived in Philadelphia on the same boat as John Penn, the new Governor of Pennsylvania and a future client, to join Quaker friends. He opened a shop on Union Street and eventually moved to Second Street in the Society Hill area. He made stylish mahogany furniture (sold 1788; e.g. Philadelphia, PA, Cliveden Mus.; armchair, Winterthur, DE, Mus. & Gdns) for the governor’s mansion at Lansdowne, PA, and many of the most prominent families in the city owned his work, including the Mifflins, the Whartons, and the Chew family at Cliveden. The parlour suite he made for John Cadwalader carved by James Reynolds and the firm of Bernard and Jugiez in 1770–71 was among the most elaborate ever produced in the colonies (pole screen, Philadelphia, PA, Mus. A.).

A Quaker and Loyalist, Affleck refused to participate in the Revolution (...


Jean-Dominique Augarde

(d Paris, March 22, 1772).

French cabinetmaker of German birth. About 1749 he became Marchand Ebéniste Privilégié du Roy Suivant la Cour et Conseils de Sa Majesté. He was active during the reign of Louis XV and was the only French cabinetmaker who was equally competent in both the Louis XV and Neo-classical styles. His pieces were few but of an extremely high standard; he employed fine wood marquetry, Japanese lacquer and Boulle marquetry, as well as producing rigorous bronzes. Although he was little known to the general public of his own day, such leading dealers as Léger Bertin, Hébert, Charles Darnault, Lazare Duvaux, Poirier and Claude-François Julliot gave him commissions, and through them he was patronized by a fashionable élite. His extant works in the Louis XV style include desks fitted with porcelain plaques, a series of sumptuous marquetry commodes (e.g. c. 1755; Toledo, OH, Mus. A.) and an astonishing upright writing-table (1758...


Donna Corbin

(b Lacochère, Orne, April 29, 1764; d Paris, March 26, 1843).

French cabinetmaker and silversmith. The silver and silver-gilt produced in his workshop rivals that of his contemporaries Henri Auguste and Jean Baptiste Claude Odiot. By 1789 Biennais had established himself at 283, Rue Saint-Honoré, Paris, as a cabinetmaker and tabletier (a dealer in and maker of small objects). After 1797 Biennais, no doubt encouraged by the dissolution of the guild system, expanded his business to include the manufacture of silver. During the Consulate Biennais became Napoleon’s personal silversmith, although he may have provided Napoleon with silver as early as 1798, when it is said that he supplied him with a nécessaire de voyage prior to his Egyptian campaign (1798–1801) and trusted him to pay for it on his return.

Biennais produced large amounts of silver for Napoleon and his family, including, in 1804, the crown and sceptre for his coronation and a number of nécessaires of different types, remarkable for the combination of forms of varying shapes and sizes that are ingeniously accommodated in a restricted space. One (...


Christian Norberg-Schulz

Norwegian architectural and furniture design partnership formed in 1922 by Gudolf Blakstad (b Gjerpen, 19 May 1893; d Oslo, 1986) and Herman Munthe-Kaas (b Christiania [now Oslo], 25 May 1890; d Oslo, 5 March 1970). Blakstad was awarded his diploma as an architect at the Norwegian Institute of Technology in Trondheim in 1916. He collaborated with Jens Dunker on the New Theatre, Oslo, from 1919 to 1929. After a preliminary training in Christiania, Munthe-Kaas finished his education at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm in 1919.

From the beginning of their careers Blakstad and Munthe-Kaas played a leading role in Norwegian architecture. After studying in Italy in the early 1920s, they advocated Neo-classicism in architectural projects, furniture designs and writings. In 1922 they won the competition for the new Town Hall in Haugesund (1924–31), a major work of 20th-century Norwegian Neo-classicism. Above a powerfully rusticated basement, the long office wing with its regular fenestration contrasts with the higher City Council Hall, accentuated by pairs of monumental, free-standing columns. In general the effect is of robust strength and an exciting interplay of horizontals and verticals....


Nadia Tscherny

(b Montignac, Dordogne, Dec 16, 1771; d Poland, 1850).

French painter and designer. He came from a family of shopkeepers and tailors and he served in the Republican army during the wars of the Vendée. By 1798 he was a student of Jacques-Louis David, who provided a small apartment in the Louvre where Broc often lived. With a group of David’s students and some writers, Broc formed a dissenting sect called Primitifs, Les, Barbus (bearded ones), Méditateurs or Penseurs. Broc was typical of the Primitifs in finding inspiration in Greek vase painting and Italian 15th-century art.

The School of Apelles (1800; Paris, Louvre) was Broc’s first Salon entry and the first exhibited work by a member of the Primitifs. The picture represents Apelles speaking to his students about his unfinished allegory of Calumny. The composition derives from Raphael’s School of Athens (Rome, Vatican, Stanza Segnatura), and the picture on the easel is based on a drawing of Calumny...


Rosamond Allwood

(b 1750-29-09 or 1782–3; d London, May 1, 1818).

English cabinetmaker and sculptor. He seems to have acquired an early training in sculpture from his mother, who made a display of life-size waxwork figures, exhibited in and around Birmingham from 1794. By 1798 he had gained a reputation as a portrait sculptor and soon set up independently as a ‘Miniature-painter and Portrait-modeller in Rice-paste’. His brother, William Bullock, opened a ‘Cabinet of Curiosites’ in Birmingham in 1800, moving to Liverpool in 1801. Bullock joined him there and by 1804 had gone into partnership with a looking-glass maker, William Stoakes of Church Street, Liverpool. They advertised themselves as ‘Cabinet Makers, General Furnishers and Marble Workers’ and in 1805 supplied Gothic furniture designed by Bullock to Cholmondeley Castle, Ches (in situ). The following year Bullock set up on his own in Bold Street, Liverpool, selling furniture and bronze ornaments. By 1806 he had acquired the Mona Marble quarries in Anglesey and sold ‘fashionable and elegant Sculptured and Plain Chimney Pieces’ at a separate showroom in Church Street....


James Yorke

(b c. 1715; d ?London, Aug 1778).

English cabinetmaker and upholsterer. Little is known about him before 1751, when he formed a partnership with William Vile, but it is assumed that he was the John Cobb apprenticed in 1729 to Timothy Money (fl 1724–59), a Norwich upholsterer. In 1755 he married Sukey, a daughter of the cabinetmaker Giles Grendey, and is said to have acquired a ‘singularly haughty character’, strutting ‘in full dress of the most superb and costly kind…through his workshops giving orders to his men’, and on one occasion earning a rebuke from George III. When Vile retired in 1764, Cobb carried on in business with the assistance of his foreman, Samuel Reynolds (fl 1751–85). He made furniture to very high standards and earned a reputation for exquisite marquetry: Hester Thrale, the writer and friend of Dr Johnson, compared the inlaid floors at Sceaux, France, to ‘the most high prized Cabinet which Mr Cobb can produce to captivate the Eyes of his Customers’. Inlay in tropical woods, particularly satinwood, was an important element of Neo-classical furniture. In ...


(b Paris, c. 1715–20; d after 1783).

French cabinetmaker and dealer. He was the most famous member of a family of cabinetmakers; his father, François Faizelot Delorme (1691–1768), and his brothers Jean-Louis Faizelot Delorme and Alexis Faizelot Delorme were all maîtres-ébénistes. Adrien became a maître-ébéniste on 22 June 1748 and was a juror of his guild from 1768 to 1770. He stamped his work delorme. He made and sold luxury furniture in the Louis XV style, decorated with japanning either in imitation of Chinese lacquer (e.g. Amsterdam, Rijksmus.) or with European decoration (e.g. Waddesdon Manor, Bucks, NT). He also carried out sumptuous floral marquetry (e.g. Paris, Petit Pal.). His most distinguished work consisted of small pieces of furniture (e.g. Paris, Louvre; London, V&A; Washington, DC, Hillwood Mus.) embellished with floral marquetry or inlays of scrolls and foliation executed in end-grain wood on a dark-veined, light-wood ground forming a chevron pattern (e.g. Lyon, Mus. B.-A.). His work in the Neo-classical style, however, failed to impress connoisseurs....


Ulrich Knapp


German family of sculptors and stuccoists. Johann Georg Dirr (b Weilheim, Ober-Bayern, 2 April 1723; d Mimmenhausen, nr Konstanz, 9 Oct 1779) and his brother Franz Anton Dirr (b Weilheim, 8 June 1724; d Überlingen, nr Konstanz, 15 June 1801) were sons of the sculptor Martin Dirr (1674–1733). They were taught in Weilheim by their stepfather, Franz Xaver Schmädl, whose training left its mark on their style, especially on that of Johann Georg Dirr, whose work is very sensitively executed. There is evidence that the brothers worked in Mimmenhausen as journeymen in the workshop of Feuchtmayer family, §3 from 1749 and 1752 respectively. In 1753 Johann Georg Dirr moved to Stockach, but in 1756 he went back to the workshop in Mimmenhausen and in 1759 was mentioned as being in joint charge there together with Feuchtmayer. The two men collaborated on commissions in the pilgrimage church at Neubirnau (...


Nicholas Bullock

(b Linz, Oct 15, 1889; d Vienna, March 27, 1957).

Austrian architect, furniture designer and teacher. He trained first in Linz and from 1909 at the Technische Hochschule, Vienna, under the Neo-classicist Karl König (1841–1915). He completed a year in Josef Hoffmann’s studio at the Wagnerschule in 1913–14, and after World War I he returned to work with Hoffmann, rising to be his senior assistant and helping with the development of the Wiener Werkstätte. In 1926 he left to work in Clemens Holzmeister’s studio, teaching with him at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste, Vienna. Active in the Österreichischer Werkbund during the 1920s and 1930s, Fellerer built two houses (1932) for the Werkbundsiedlung in Vienna. In 1934 he was appointed Director of the Kunstgewerbeschule and succeeded Hoffmann as head of its architectural section until he was dismissed by the Nazis in 1938. From 1934 he was also in private practice with Eugen Wörle (b 1909) and won a Grand Prix at the Exposition Internationale des Arts et Techniques dans la Vie Moderne in Paris in ...


French family of bronze-founders. Etienne Forestier (b Paris, c. 1712; d Paris, 1768), who became a master bronze-founder in 1737, supplied bronze furniture mounts to Jean-François Oeben, André-Charles Boulle and Gilles Joubert. He cast Jean-Claude Chambellan Duplessis’s models for bronzes on the Bureau du Roi by Oeben and Jean-Henri Riesener (1769; Paris, Louvre). The Forestiers feature in the accounts of the Bâtiments du Roi from 1755 until the Revolution. After Etienne’s death his widow and sons Etienne-Jean Forestier and Pierre-Auguste Forestier (b Paris, 1755; d Paris, 1835) continued the Parisian bronze-founding business from a workshop in the Rue Ste Avoie, Etienne-Jean having become a master in 1764. Their customers included Louis-François de Bourbon, Prince de Conti. The Forestiers also appear frequently, particularly from 1784 to 1788, in the accounts of the Garde Meuble de la Couronne under the directorship of the sculptor Jean Hauré, regarding bronzework for King ...


(b Paris, c. 1720; d Paris, 1800).

French cabinetmaker. He was trained in the workshop of his father, François Garnier. His early work, however, was indistinguishable from that of many of his contemporaries. He became a maître-ébéniste on 31 December 1742. He was quick to incorporate the principles of the Neo-classical style, and these ideals governed his furniture during his second period of production. In 1761 he made a table based on designs by the architect Charles de Wailly, which was shown at the annual Salon at the Louvre organized by the Académie Royale de Peinture et de Sculpture. His furniture displayed architectural lines with uprights in the form of fluted pillars, and in general he rejected marquetry in favour of such fine veneers as ebony, mahogany or even Japanese lacquer. His bronze mounts were in the Neo-classical style and included laurel wreaths, triglyphs, lion heads and spiral ferrules. Many pieces survive, among them writing-tables (e.g. 1762–5...


Gérard Rousset-Charny

(b St Ouen, nr Paris, June 7, 1737; d Paris, Dec 29, 1818).

French architect and designer. He was the son of the gardener at the royal château of Choisy-le-Roi and attended Jacques-François Blondel’s school of architecture, the Ecole des Arts, winning third place in the Prix de Rome competition of 1759. He spent five years in Rome (1761–6) on a bursary granted by Louis XV, and he made friends there with Giovanni Battista Piranesi. He returned to France via Holland and England. In 1769, at the suggestion of the King’s surgeon Germain Pichault de la Martinière, he was commissioned to design the new Ecole de Chirurgie (1771–86; now the Faculté de Médecine, Paris). The layout is in the manner of an hôtel particulier, with a court surrounded by an Ionic colonnade and closed off from the present Rue de l’Ecole de Médecine by a columnar screen. It was this feature that made a great impression on Gondoin’s contemporaries, lacking as it does the usual inflections by projecting end pavilions and central ...


Hanne Raabyemagle

(b Copenhagen, May 26, 1735; d Copenhagen, May 24, 1799).

Danish architect, interior designer and teacher. He was outstanding among the first group of architects trained at the Kongelige Danske Kunstakademi, Copenhagen, and won the gold medal in 1756. The ensuing travel scholarship allowed him to spend six years in Paris and Rome between 1757 and 1764. He was able to observe at first hand the radical change in architecture towards the strict and pure Neo-classicism to which he had been introduced by his teacher, Nicolas-Henri Jardin. On his return to Copenhagen, Harsdorff embarked on a successful career as a teacher, civil servant and practising architect; although economic and political upheavals restricted the number of his executed works, he was the leading figure in Danish architecture in the late 18th century. He was a member of the Academy by 1765 and was appointed professor in 1766 and court architect in 1770, playing a dominant role in the central building administration throughout his life....


Simon Jervis

(b Stockholm, Aug 10, 1741; d Stockholm, Sept 18, 1784).

Swedish cabinetmaker. He was the son of the cabinetmaker Elias Haupt (d 1751) and in 1754 was apprenticed to the cabinetmaker Johan Conrad Eckstein (1722–85) a year earlier than guild regulations allowed, due to his family’s connections. He completed his apprenticeship in October 1759 and c. 1762 departed with the cabinetmaker Christopher Fuhrlohg (1737–c. 1800) for Amsterdam. By 1764 they were in Paris, where Haupt may have trained under Simon Oeben (c. 1725–86), the brother of Jean-François Oeben. In 1766 Haupt, like Simon Oeben, worked for Etienne-François, Duc de Choiseul, at the château of Chanteloup, near Amboise; there he made and signed a plain, mahogany bureau plat (1767; Paris, Inst. Géog. N.). In 1766 he was joined in Paris by his nephew, the painter Elias Martin. In late 1767 or early 1768 they travelled to London, where they joined a Swedish colony that included Fuhrlohg, the furniture designer David Martin and (from ...


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, ...


James Yorke

[Mayhew and Ince]

English partnership of cabinetmakers formed in 1758 by William Ince (b ?London, c. 1738; d London, 6 Jan 1804) and John Mayhew (b 1736; d London, May 1811). Ince was apprenticed to John West (fl 1743–58) of Covent Garden, London, from 1752 until West’s death. As the usual age to begin an apprenticeship was 14, he was probably born towards the end of the 1730s. In 1758 Ince formed a partnership with Mayhew. They operated from Broad Street, Carnaby Market, an address formerly occupied by Charles Smith (fl 1746–59), whose premises they had purchased. In Mortimer’s Universal Director (1763) they were described as ‘cabinet-makers, carvers and upholders’, and by 1778 they were styling themselves ‘manufacturers of plate glass’ (Ince’s father and brother were glass-grinders).

In 1759 the partners began to issue in serial form The Universal System of Household Furniture...


Eleanor John

French family of furniture-makers. Georges Jacob I (b Cheny, 6 July 1739; d Paris, 5 July 1814) arrived in Paris in 1755 and became a Maître Ebéniste on 4 September 1765. His first business was in the Rue de Cléry, Paris, from 1767 and the Rue Meslée from 1775. At the start of his career he produced curvilinear models often decorated with carved flowers and foliage (e.g. 1777; Paris, Louvre), characteristic of chairs at the end of the reign of Louis XV. His reputation rests on the production of numerous, sometimes innovative varieties of high-quality seats in the Louis XVI and Empire styles, for which his work was seminal. He was probably the first to use the common Louis XVI form of tapering, fluted legs headed by a rosette within a square (e.g. of 1780–90; Paris, Mus. Nissim de Camondo), and he introduced console-shaped legs that terminated in a volute below the seat rail (e.g. ...


(b Paris, 1689; d Paris, Oct 14, 1775).

French cabinetmaker. He was a member of a Parisian family of menuisiers and became a maître-ébéniste sometime between 1714 and 1722. After the death of Antoine-Robert Gaudreaus (1751) he became the main supplier to the Crown for 23 years and carried out commissions for 4000 pieces of furniture. Only a few, however, were masterpieces, produced either by Joubert or under his supervision. In 1758 he received the title of Ebéniste Ordinaire du Garde Meuble and in 1763, on the death of Jean-François Oeben, he became Ebéniste du Roi. Gradually, however, his position was taken over by Jean-Henri Riesener. Joubert acted to some extent as a main contractor, and when his workshop could not fulfil commissions he subcontracted to such cabinetmakers as Mathieu Criard, Marchand, Jacques Dubois, François Mondon (1694–1770), Boudin, Foullet, Louis Péridiez (1731–64), Daniel Deloose, Simon Oeben (d 1786) and particularly, during his final years of work, to ...


Donna Corbin

(b Chantilly, June 27, 1779; d New York, Oct 16, 1819).

American cabinetmaker of French birth. Lannuier received his training from his brother, Nicolas-Louis-Cyrille Lannuier, who was admitted to the Corporation des Menuisiers-Ebénistes in Paris on 23 July 1783. Charles-Honoré arrived in the USA in 1803 and settled in New York where he established a workshop at 60 Broad Street, an address he would occupy for his entire career. He was a contemporary and rival of Duncan Phyfe and became one of the pre-eminent furnituremakers in the USA working in the Late Federal period. His craftsmanship was of the highest quality, and he counted among his customers such distinguished New York families as the Morrises, Stuyvesants, and Rensselaers. He was perhaps the first American cabinetmaker to employ French manufactured cast-brass ornaments. Despite a reliance throughout his career on French styles—in the early years, on those of the Directoire and Consulate periods he experienced in Paris first hand, and later, after the move to New York, on those of imported Empire-period pieces—he nevertheless created a highly original style that is distinctly American. Of the large and well-documented body of Lannuier’s work, there is a preponderance of tables, especially pier- and card-tables (...