Sheraton Style (1785-1820)

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

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. He moved to London around 1790 when he was forty years old. Throughout his life, religion played an important role in his work.

Thomas Sheraton, portait (1751-1806).

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His major works.

  • The Cabinet Maker’s and Upholterer’s Drawing Book”, was published  by Sheraton in four volumes in 1791, shortly after Hepplewight‘s publication.
  • In 1803 he also completed “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, along 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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About Sheraton style.

Sheraton furniture featured 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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