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continental neo-classical style and he employed several leading French craftsmen and cabinet-makers to help with the project8. Following an early visit to the unfinished house Horace Walpole (1785) wrote, „There is an August simplicity that astonished me. You cannot call it magnificent; it is the taste and propriety that strike‟ he continued by adding that the decoration was „rather classic than French‟. Previously, Walpole (1775) had described Adam‟s work as „all gingerbread, filigraine and fan-painting‟ and it was clear that he preferred the new, „less ornate‟ decoration. The furnishing of Carlton House was completed in 1796 and, although Holland had borrowed heavily from the French Empire Style, he had also established a more subdued English interpretation. This anglicised version of French neo-classical furniture design was soon categorised as the English Empire Style.


Several cabinet-makers‟ guides were published in England during the eighteenth century. These guides contained advice on geometry and perspective while suggesting furniture designs based on the latest French fashions. One of the first, compiled by Thomas Chippendale in 1754, was „The Gentleman and Cabinet- Maker‟s Director‟9. The Director included many pieces that would have sat comfortably in Louis XVI‟s court but, Chippendale‟s neo-classical motifs were largely restricted to mouldings and pediments. Eight years later, in response to Chippendale‟s Director, William Ince and John Mayhew (Ince & Mayhew) released „The Universal System of Household Furniture‟ but, once again, there were few pictorial references to the classical revival taking place in France.


Despite a constant stream of engravings depicting ancient Greek architecture and ornamentation including „Antiquities of Athens‟ by James Stuart and Nicholas Revett, it was not until the publication of Sheraton‟s Drawing-Book in 1791 that the neo- classical influence on English furniture design became apparent. As a caption to a frontispiece in the Drawing-Book Sheraton (1791) comments, „Time alters fashions and frequently obliterates the works of art and ingenuity; but that which is founded on Geometry & real Science, will remain unalterable‟. The sentiment was amplified in Parts I and II of the Drawing-Book which are packed with carefully annotated sketches to ensure that the classical lines and proportions are correctly applied. In Part III the trend towards the clean straight lines and delicately tapered legs that we now recognise as the Regency Style, had been documented. Following the


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