This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.
publication of the Drawing-Book the cabinet-makers of London fully embraced the neo-classical form and a second wave of English Empire design started to eclipse the work of Adam.


Thomas Hope was twenty-seven in 1796 when the Prince of Wales reopened the doors of Carlton House. In the same year Hope had fled with his uncle and two brothers to London to escape the French revolutionary forces as they entered Amsterdam. Inspired by his Grand Tour of Europe at the age of eighteen, Hope had already started to collect Grecian artefacts. In 1801 he had purchased a large number of Greek vases from Sir William Hamilton. Hope‟s interest in classical architecture and design had led to a friendship with Charles Percier and he was deeply impressed with the work of the French designer. French neo-classical decoration had drawn heavily on the Greek form during the Directory, but the Napoleonic court of the nineteenth century favoured bold designs more relevant to its imperial ambitions. The designs of Percier & Fontaine had therefore emphasised the Roman forms and motifs with heavy symbolic ornamentation10. In France, the simplicity of the Grecian form was gradually being eroded by the neo-Roman influence and this presented Hope with an opportunity to build on Percier & Fontaine‟s earlier work by taking a fresh look at their interior decorations. Unlike the delicate, neo-classical motifs introduced in the 1760s by the Adam brothers, the work of Percier & Fontaine had suggested the majestic, straight lines of a new order.


In 1804, following five years of painstaking research, design and experimentation, Hope had transformed his house in Duchess Street11 into a „showcase‟ of the evolving English Empire Style12. To celebrate he invited sixty members of the Royal Academy and their friends to view the house and its contents. Initial reactions to Hope‟s work varied; some felt that it resembled a museum, others including John Flaxman, the neo-classical artist, reported that Hope had „produced a system of furniture ... whose parts are consistent with each other, and the whole suited to domestic ease and comfort‟. Regardless of the mixed reviews, three years later Hope published a monograph on his Duchess Street mansion and contents entitled „Household Furniture and Interior Decoration‟ (Household Furniture). The book included the measurements of major pieces and was printed in black and white to keep the price within the range of the craftsmen that Hope was keen to influence.


- 10 -


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92  |  Page 93  |  Page 94  |  Page 95  |  Page 96  |  Page 97  |  Page 98  |  Page 99  |  Page 100  |  Page 101  |  Page 102  |  Page 103  |  Page 104  |  Page 105  |  Page 106  |  Page 107  |  Page 108  |  Page 109  |  Page 110  |  Page 111  |  Page 112  |  Page 113  |  Page 114  |  Page 115  |  Page 116  |  Page 117  |  Page 118  |  Page 119  |  Page 120  |  Page 121  |  Page 122  |  Page 123  |  Page 124  |  Page 125  |  Page 126  |  Page 127  |  Page 128  |  Page 129  |  Page 130  |  Page 131  |  Page 132  |  Page 133  |  Page 134  |  Page 135  |  Page 136