A Chippendale Gothic Sideboard with Marble Top

Circa 1770
Reference #: EF1591

Height: 38 ¾ inches (98.4 cm)
Width: 53 ½ inches (135.9 cm)
Depth: 28 ½ inches (72.4 cm)

The rectangular marble top above a freeze including a Greek key pattern above gothic blind fretwork, having one drawer on the left side, raised on square tapering fluted legs and terminating in block feet.

The Gothic style, a protest against the rigid discipline of Palladianism, gained popularity in the 1740s. Batty Langely included designs in his book for interiors called Gothic Architecture Improved, published in 1742, and William Kent used the style when building extensions at Rousham. Horace Walpole decided in 1747 to make his home, Strawberry Hill, a Gothic showplace, which gave the movement fashionable status. In 1754 Chippendale introduced the Gothic style to a wider audience, including many designs for pieces in the Gothic style in his very popular publication The Gentleman & Cabinet-Maker’s Directory. The appearance of the Gothic sideboard confirms that the taste was socially acceptable in dining rooms. Most of the sideboards made in the Gothic style have a Chinese flavor, as Chinoiserie was also a favorite style at the time.

The blind fretwork that adorns this table was inspired by gothic window designs. Also used on the backs of chairs (see The Gentleman & Cabinet-Maker’s Directory by Thomas Chippendale, Plate XVII), it is rarely seen on sideboards.

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