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machine-made fastenings and centres of specialisation started to emerge outside of London. The demand for nails, screws, locks and bolts grew exponentially as the furniture trade expanded and thousands of wooden houses were built in the American Colonies. The owners of the new factories, along with the engineers and the investors that backed them, accumulated significant wealth and they, in turn, created more demand. The resulting „mercantile elite‟ adopted the lifestyles of the English aristocracy, purchasing property and land before modifying, extending and furnishing their new homes according to the latest fashion24. Equipped with the pattern books of Sheraton, Hope and Smith and guided by Ackermann‟s monthly fashion magazine, it was clear that the rooms of their Palladian manor houses should be well planned and co-ordinated. According to Steven Parissien (1992, p. 132) in his book on „Regency Style‟, the theory of ‘en-suite’ decoration did not mean that the whole house was decorated in a uniform manner. Colours were allocated to particular rooms; a bold red may be appropriate for the dining room but, a subtle green was preferred in the library. Architects supported by upholders and furniture makers used colour charts to ensure that nothing was left to chance.


Of particular importance to the „new gentleman‟ was his library. Not only did the library represent his wealth25, but it also „informed‟ his visitors that he was a man of learning and exploration. The books on the library shelves covered natural history and travel - many relating to the places visited by members of the family during their grand tours of Europe. Following Earl Stanhope‟s invention of the cast iron printing press towards the end of the eighteenth century there had been a marked increase in the number of books available. Between 1792 and 1802 an average of four hundred books per year had been published; a four-fold increase over the preceding decade. It was the library that also created a new market for the cabinet-makers. In Sheraton‟s Dictionary under the heading of „Book-Case‟ he states that, „If a multiplicity of books be a sure indication of an increase in useful knowledge, we have the pleasure of seeing that in our times‟. He continues by observing that „Cabinet- makers have doubtless felt an interest in the increase of books, detached from their wish of the spread of real knowledge, in the multiplied demands that have been for bookcases of late years‟ (Sheraton, 1970, p. 65). The design publications of Ince & Mayhew, Hepplewhite and Sheraton all contain examples of specialised library furniture. With each publication the designs became more fanciful and, by the time


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