Sheraton Style (1785-1820)

Sheraton is a late 18th century neoclassical English furniture style, that was coined by 19th century collectors and dealers to credit furniture designer Thomas Sheraton.

Sheraton style cane-backed armchair
Sheraton style cane-backed armchair.      Image source: https://www.onekingslane.com/info/home/sheraton-style-chairs/

 

WHO IS THOMAS SHERATON?

Sheraton was born in Stockton-on-Tees, County Durham, England. He was apprenticed to a local cabinet maker and continued working as a journeyman cabinet maker until he moved to London in 1790, aged 39.

Plaque to Thomas Sheraton’s memory in London.
Plaque to Thomas Sheraton’s memory in London. Image source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:THOMAS_SHERATON.JPG

In 1791 he published in four volumes “The Cabinet Maker’s and Upholterer’s Drawing Book”, (shortly after Hepplewhite’s book), has greatly influeced English and American design.


In 1803 he published “The Cabinet Dictionary”, a compendium of instructions on the techniques of cabinet and chair making. Then a year before his death, in 1805 he published the first volume of “The Cabinet Maker, Upholsterer and General Artist’s Encyclopaedia”.

The cabinet-maker and upholsterers drawing-book, in three parts. Volume 1.

hb_nk2229-s54_1793_av2
The cabinet-maker and upholsterers drawing-book, in three parts. Volume 1.

Images source: http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/works-of-art

There he was teaching perspective, architecture, and cabinet design for craftsmen. it is not known how he gained either the knowledge or the reputation which enabled him to do this but he appears to have been moderately successful.

Thomas Sheraton was considered one of the “big three English furniture makers of the 18th century, along with Thomas Chippendale and George Hepplewhite.

Info source: http://www.museumfurniture.com/sheraton; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Sheraton; https://www.britannica.com/biography/Thomas-Sheraton

 

STYLE CHARACTERISTICS:

Thomas Sheraton’s pieces represent an interval style carved out between Adam’s delicate Neo-Classicism and England’s high-glamour Regency Style.

  • Backed chair: (in sharp contrast with those of Hepplewhite) rectangular and rectilinear frames.
  • Legs: In contrast to the popular cabriole legs of earlier styles, Sheraton pieces usually have straight, sometimes tapered, legs.
  • Feet: Complementing the slim, feet are usually simple: a rectangular spade foot, a cylindrical foot or a tapered arrow foot.
  • elegant appearance
  • upholstered seats
  • Motifs: urns with swags, husks, fluting, festoons, rams’ heads, rosettes, flowers
  • fancy” or painted frames in green, gray, red, black, white, white & gold, or japanned motifs.
Materials:

Often, pieces contain more than one type of wood:

-for the base, satinwood was a favourite, but mahogany, beech and walnut were also popular.

-For the decorative elements, common woods included tulipwood, birch, ash and rosewood.

Sheraton had a penchant for including secret drawers and mechanisms for sliding sections on secretaries, tables, and desks.

Info source: http://www.museumfurniture.com/sheraton; https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheraton_style; https://www.britannica.com/biography/Thomas-Sheraton

 

A sheraton style chair with rectangular back.
A sheraton style chair with rectangular back. Image source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomas_Sheraton

 

A sheraton style chair in white motifs.
A sheraton style chair in white motifs.           Image source: https://www.onekingslane.com/info/home/thomas-sheraton-style-neo-classical-chairs/

 

Bed in sheraton style
Bed in sheraton style. Image source: http://www.museumfurniture.com/sheraton/bed

 

A Thomas Sheraton cherry desk with a brass gallery along its top drawers.
A Thomas Sheraton cherry desk with a brass gallery along its top drawers. Image source: https://www.onekingslane.com/info/home/sheraton-style-chairs/

Leave a Reply