Sheraton Style (1785-1820)

Sheraton style was important and spreaded from 1790 to 1820. Today, it is well known as one of the great moments in England’s golden age of furniture.

Sheraton style cane-backed armchair
Sheraton style cane-backed armchair.

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Who Was Thomas Sheraton

Thomas Sheraton was born in Stockton-on-Tees in 1751. He never received specialized training to improve his working skills. He taught himself drawing and geometry, and was probably apprenticed to some local cabinet-makers shop. In early life he called himself a mechanic, with little advantages coming from academic education.

Thomas Sheraton, portait (1751-1806).

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He went to London about 1790, when he was forty years old. Trough all his life religion played an important role in his work. In 1791 he published in four volumes “The Cabinet Maker’s and Upholterer’s Drawing Book”, shortly after Hepplewhite’s publication. In 1803 he also finished “The Cabinet Dictionary”. In 1805 he published the first volume of “The Cabinet Maker, Upholsterer and General Artist’s Encyclopaedia”. He is considered one of the “big three English furniture makers of the 18th century, with Thomas Chippendale and George Hepplewhite.

The Cabinet Maker's and Upholterer's Drawing Book's cover.
The Cabinet Maker’s and Upholterer’s Drawing Book’s cover.

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Style Features

Sheraton furniture was featured with contrasting veneers and inlays. Dealing with woods, his favourite types for the decorations were: tulipwood, birch, ash, and rosewood. For the base, satinwood was his favourite, along with mahogany, beech and walnut. His way of working can be recognised by

  • Rectangular and rectilinear frames, in contrast with Heppelwhite’s;
  • Sheraton pieces usually have straight, tapered, legs;
  • Motifs such as: urns, rosettes and flowers;
  • Japanned motifs.
Sheraton style desk.
Sheraton style desk.
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