Thomas Chippendale’s rivals and contemporaries

Clothes PressGreen and gold japanned clothes press, Harewood House, c 1769. Reproduced by kind permission of
the Trustees of the 7th Earl of Harewood Will Trust and the Trustees of the Harewood House Trust

Although Thomas Chippendale is the best-known of London’s 18th century furniture makers, he was certainly not the only one, and many of his commissions were executed alongside or in competition with other top-flight firms. Some of these have disappeared virtually without trace but others are better documented. They include John Cobb, Lawrence Fell, William France, Robert and Richard Gillow, William Ince, James Lawson, John Linnell, John Mayew, Samuel Norman, Paul Saunders, George Seddon and William Vile.

On major commissions, Chippendale also needed to liaise with architects because furniture design was closely integrated with the planning and decoration of formal 18th century interiors. Prominent among those with whom Chippendale is known to have worked were Sir William Chambers and, more famously, Robert Adam.