Thomas Sheraton

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Thomas Sheraton
Born1751  OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
Stockton-on-Tees   OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
Died22 October 1806  OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
London   OOjs UI icon edit-ltr-progressive.svg
A Sheraton style chair with rectangular back Sheraton chair.jpg
A Sheraton style chair with rectangular back

Thomas Sheraton (1751 – 22 October 1806) [1] was a furniture designer, one of the "big three" English furniture makers of the 18th century, along with Thomas Chippendale and George Hepplewhite. [2] Sheraton gave his name to a style of furniture characterized by a feminine refinement of late Georgian styles [1] and became the most powerful source of inspiration behind the furniture of the late 18th century.

English furniture has developed largely in line with styles in the rest of northern Europe, but has been interpreted in a distinctive fashion. There were significant regional differences in style, for example between the North Country and the West Country. Salisbury and Norwich were prominent early centres of furniture production.

Thomas Chippendale British cabinet-maker

Thomas Chippendale (1718–1779) was born in Otley in the West Riding of Yorkshire, England in June 1718. He became a cabinet-maker in London, designing furniture in the mid-Georgian, English Rococo, and Neoclassical styles. In 1754 he published a book of his designs, titled The Gentleman and Cabinet Maker's Director, upon which success he became renowned. The designs are regarded as representing the current British fashion for furniture of that period and are now reproduced globally. He was buried 16 November 1779, according to the records of St Martin-in-the-Fields, in the cemetery since built upon by the National Gallery. Chippendale furniture is much valued; a padouk cabinet that was offered for auction during 2008 sold for £2,729,250.

George Hepplewhite was a cabinetmaker. He is regarded as having been 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 and reproductions of his designs continued through the following centuries. One characteristic that is seen in many of his designs is a shield-shaped chair back, where an expansive shield appeared in place of a narrower splat design.



Sheraton was born in Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham, England. [3] He was apprenticed to a local cabinet maker and continued working as a journeyman cabinet maker until he moved to London in 1790, aged 39. [1] There he set up as professional consultant and teacher, teaching perspective, architecture, and cabinet design for craftsmen. [4] It is not known how he gained either the knowledge or the reputation which enabled him to do this but he appears to have been moderately successful.

Stockton-on-Tees Market town in County Durham, England

Stockton-on-Tees is a market town in County Durham, England. The town has a population of 85,000, with a population of around 196,000 in the wider area, the Borough of Stockton-on-Tees, according to 2017 estimates by ONS UK.

A journeyman is a worker, skilled in a given building trade or craft, who has successfully completed an official apprenticeship qualification. Journeymen are considered competent and authorized to work in that field as a fully qualified employee. They earn their license by education, supervised experience and examination. Although journeymen have completed a trade certificate and are allowed to work as employees, they may not yet work as self-employed master craftsmen.

London Capital of the United Kingdom

London is the capital and largest city of England and the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

Starting in 1791 he published in four volumes The Cabinet Maker's and Upholsterer's Drawing Book. [3] At least six hundred cabinet makers and joiners subscribed to his book and it was immediately widely influential over a large part of the country. [3] During this period he did not have a workshop of his own and it is believed that Sheraton himself never made any of the pieces shown in his books. No pieces of furniture have ever been traced to him directly. [4] So a piece of furniture described as being "by Sheraton" refers to the design and not to the maker of the piece. [5]

Sheraton style late 18th-century neoclassical English furniture style

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.

In 1803 he published The Cabinet Dictionary, a compendium of instructions on the techniques of cabinet and chair making. [3] Then a year before his death, in 1805 he published the first volume of The Cabinet Maker, Upholsterer and General Artist's Encyclopaedia. [3]

Sheraton's name is associated with the styles of furniture fashionable in the 1790s and early 19th century. [1] Many of the designs are based on classical architecture, knowledge of which was an essential part of a designer's technical education. [1] Not all of the drawings are of his own design he acknowledged that some of them came from works in progress in the workshops of practicing cabinet makers [3] but he was a superb draughtsman and he set his name on the style of the era.

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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 "Thomas Sheraton | English furniture designer". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 2019-07-14.
  2. "Welcome to ICONS - Icons of England". Archived from the original on 2009-05-11. Retrieved 2016-11-13.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 "Thomas Sheraton". Retrieved 2019-07-14.
  4. 1 2 "Death of Thomas Sheraton | History Today". Retrieved 2019-07-14.
  5. "Antique Furniture Guide". Retrieved 2016-11-13.