3 March 2013

French Antiques – Sheraton Style

French Antiques - Sheraton Style - brownrigg

Sheraton is a late 18th century neoclassical English furniture style, in vogue ca 1785 – 1820, that was coined by 19th century collectors and dealers to credit furniture designer Thomas Sheraton, born in Stockton-on-Tees, England in 1751 and whose books, “The Cabinet Dictionary” (1803) of engraved designs and the “Cabinet Maker’s & Upholsterer’s Drawing Book” (1791) of furniture patterns exemplify this style.

The Sheraton style was inspired by the Louis XVI style and features round tapered legs, fluting and most notably contrasting veneer inlays. Sheraton style furniture takes lightweight rectilinear forms, using satinwood, mahogany and tulipwood, sycamore and rosewood for inlaid decorations, though painted finishes and brass fittings are also to be found. Swags, husks, flutings, festoons, and rams’ heads are amongst the common motifs applied to pieces of this style.

Without pedantic archaeology, it brought the Neo-Classical taste of architects like Robert Adam within reach of the middle class. In many respects Sheraton style corresponds with the contemporary Directoire style of France. The Sheraton style was the most reproduced style in the United States during the Federal period.

Thomas Sheraton’s adaptability, his readiness to receive foreign impressions, his adaptations of Louis XVI ideas, the lightness of his forms and the grace of his conceptions had about them a touch of the exotic which was heightened by his lavish employment of satin-wood and other beautifully grained woods susceptible of a high polish. There are no more charming things outside French furniture than some of the creations of Sheraton in his great period. The severe and balanced forms, the delicate inlay, the occasional slight carving in low relief, the painted enrichments, the variety of the backs and legs of his chairs produce an impression of lightness and grace that has never been surpassed.

We always try to maintain a good number of French antiques in stock – take a look