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James Yorke

[Mathias; Matthew]

(fl c. 1740–early 1770s).

English engraver, draughtsman and drawing-master. In 1748 his premises faced Old Slaughter’s Coffee House in St Martin’s Lane, London, a favourite meeting-place for adherents of the new Rococo style. His earliest known satirical print, the Cricket Players of Europe, is dated 1741.

In 1751 he issued A New-book of Chinese, Gothic & Modern Chairs, a slight publication on eight leaves. Twelve examples with bizarre backs were described as ‘Hall Chairs’ in a reissue of 1766, but it is more likely they were intended for gardens and summer-houses. A shell-back chair (Stratford-on-Avon, Nash’s House) corresponding to one of the designs was made for the Chinese temple erected at Stratford for the Shakespeare jubilee organized by David Garrick in 1769. Five plates from a second book of chairs (c. 1751), of which no copy survives, were apparently reprinted in Robert Manwaring’s The Chair-maker’s Guide (1766). Described as ‘Parlour Chairs’, they incorporate extravagant C-scroll motifs in the backs....


A.-G. Wahlberg

(b Stockholm, May 18, 1717; d Stockholm, March 19, 1793).

Swedish architect, designer, draughtsman and engraver. In 1733 he began his architectural training at the Fortifikation in Stockholm and in 1739 received his commission as military draughtsman. From 1735 he was also a student at the Kungliga Akademi för de Fria Konsterna, founded in that year. In 1740 Carl Hårleman provided him with a scholarship so that he might train as an engraver with Jacques-Philippe Lebas in Paris. At the same time Rehn studied architecture as well as pattern draughting for textiles, faience and silverware and was a student at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts. He was offered a position as an engraver at the Ecole de Chirurgie and appeared destined to have a successful career in Paris. However, in 1745, Hårleman succeeded in having Rehn appointed as designer and pattern draughtsman at the Manufakturkontor (Manufactures Office) in Stockholm. Before returning home, he visited Lyon to examine technical innovations in silk manufacture and to buy silk cloth with contemporary patterns that he might later copy. In Stockholm he founded an engraving school that lasted from ...