Sheraton Style (1785-1820)

The Sheraton Style was especially important from 1790 to 1820. Today, it is known as one of the greatest episodes in the golden age of furniture in England.

A Sheraton style chair with rectangular back. A black wood chair with a fluffy cushion. Photo is in black and white.
A Sheraton style chair with rectangular back

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Thomas Sheraton was born in Stockton-on-Tees in 1751. While he was young, he taught himself geometry and how to draw. Although he never received specialized training to improve his working skills, he probably apprenticed to some local cabinet-makers shop. Often, he called himself a mechanic, with little advantages coming from academic education. In 1790, when he was forty years old, he moved to London, England.

His Major Works
  • The cabinetmaker’s and Upholsterer’s Drawing Book,” published by Sheraton in four volumes in 1791, shortly after Hepplewight‘s publication.
  • The Cabinet Dictionary,” published in 1803.
  • The first volume of “The cabinetmaker, Upholsterer and General Artist’s Encyclopaedia,” published in 1805.

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

The cabinetmaker's and Upholsterer's Drawing Book's cover.
The cabinetmaker’s and Upholsterer’s Drawing Book’s cover.
A drawing of a sofa from The Cabinet Dictionary.
A sofa from The Cabinet Dictionary, published in 1803 by Thomas Sheraton
A drawing of two different chairs in the Sheraton Style.
Two chairs from The cabinet-maker and upholsterer’s drawing-book by Thomas Sheraton.

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About Sheraton Style

Sheraton furniture featured contrasting veneers and inlays. Often, it dealt with woods, such as tulipwood, birch, ash, and rosewood. For the base, satinwood was his favorite, along with mahogany, beech, and walnut.

His way of work can be recognized by:

  • Rectangular and rectilinear frames, in contrast with Heppelwhite’s
  • Straight, tapered, legs
  • Motifs such as urns, rosettes, and flowers
  • Japanese motifs
Designs for furniture in a variation on the style of Thomas Sheraton, a breakfront, a sideboard, and a low cupboard.
A breakfront, a sideboard, and a low cupboard design in Sheraton Style.

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