George Hepplewhite

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George Hepplewhite (died June 21 1786) was a cabinet and chair maker. He was one of the "big three" English furniture makers of the 18th century, along with Thomas Sheraton and Thomas Chippendale. There are no pieces of furniture made by Hepplewhite or his firm known to exist but he gave his name to a distinctive style of light, elegant furniture that was fashionable between about 1775 and 1800. Reproductions of his designs continued through the following centuries. One characteristic that is seen in many of his designs, but not all of them, is a shield shaped chair back.

Very little is known about Hepplewhite himself. He served his apprenticeship in Lancaster and then moved to London where he opened a shop. After he died in 1786 the business was carried on by his widow, Alice. In 1788 she published a book with about 300 of his designs, The Cabinet Maker and Upholsterers Guide. Two further editions were published in 1789 and 1790.

The book influenced cabinet makers and furniture companies for several generations. The work of these generations influenced in turn copies of the original designs and variants of them through the 19th and 20th centuries.de:George Hepplewhite

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