Thomas Sheraton – A Powerful Source of Inspiration in Georgian Design

Thomas Sheraton - A Powerful Source of Inspiration in Georgian Design

Thomas Sheraton, (1751 – 1806, Soho, London), an English cabinetmaker, inventor and artist was a powerful source of influence during the period of the late 18th Century.  Author of numerous influential publications, ‘Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterers’ Drawing Book’, a ‘Cabinet Dictionary’ with plates exceptional in proportion, form and draftsmanship, in conjunction with a ‘Dictionary for Varnishing, Polishing and Gilding’, ‘The Cabinet Maker’ and the ‘Upholsterer and General Artist ‘Encyclopaedia’.  A exponent of a design of furniture characterised by feminine reinterpretation of the Georgian styles, his vision was to cement him as one of the most powerful proponents of the inspiration behind the furniture of the late 18th century alongside Thomas Chippendale and George Hepplewhite.

Apprenticed as a young man to a cabinet maker in Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham, England, Sheraton settled in Soho, London in 1790 where he produced furniture directly inspired by the forms of Ancient Greece and Rome.  Stunning styles with straight lines and angles mainly carved from mahogany and satinwood, which were extremely elegant and delicate.  Sideboards were mounted on tall straight legs, curves were swept away from chairs and tables were to have spayed square cut legs.

Featured above is a stunning example of Thomas Sheraton’s design vision, this inspiring 18th Century George III walnut serpentine sideboard is attributed to Thomas Sheraton. The shaped moulded top is raised over a single cross banded cockbeaded short drawer with satinwood inlay and hexagonal brass pulls with rosehead motif and brass escutcheons is flanked with crossbanded cockbeaded cellared drawers with shaped satinwood inlay and hexagonal brass pulls and escutcheon, the entire raised over a shaped concave apron terminating on square tapering leg, circa 1790.

I have included also a fine early 19th Century George III mahogany bowfront chest of drawers in the manner of Thomas Sheraton.  The shaped crossbanded top with satinwood line inlay is raised over two short and three long crossbanded and cockbeaded sets of drawers with satinwood line inlay, ornate brass pulls and escutcheons supported on ogee bracket foot, circa 1805.

An elegant early 19th Century Regency rosewood drop leaf sofa table in the manner of Thomas Sheraton, the moulded top of rectangular form is carved with rounded corners and incorporates fine brass line inlay raised over a pair of cockbeaded and brass inlaid frieze short drawers with decorative brass pulls with star motif, the entire is supported on outswept legs joined by shaped stretcher terminating on brass hairy paw foot on casters.

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by O'Sullivan Antiques