George Hepplewhite (d. 1786) was the most famous of Chippendale's successors among England's master cabinetmaker-designers. So synonymous with excellence in design and craftsmanship was his name that it has been given to one of the most influential styles of English furniture.
In 1788 Hepplewhite's widow, Alice, issued a catalog of his designs, a magnificent folio of engraved plates representing the prevailing furniture styles, particularly the characteristic "taper-leg Hepplewhite" and the various chair and chair-back styles most often associated with the Hepplewhite school. The Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer's Guide, second only to Chippendale's Director in importance and thoroughness, was enormously influential, spreading quickly throughout the Continent and the colonies and guiding the style and construction of furniture everywhere. A second edition was issued the following year, and an extensively revised third edition in 1794. Today this classic collection is a very rare and highly valued work.
This present volume is an unaltered and unabridged republication of the enlarged third edition of The Guide. The articles of furniture depicted are extremely varied: chairs, stools, sofas, sideboards, beds, pedestals, cellarets, desks, bookcases, tables, chests of drawers, dressing glasses, wardrobes, brackets, fire-screens, and many other items. The plates contain elegant drawings which reveal the practical and unpretentious craftsmanship that sets the Hepplewhite style apart, along with many special enlargements of accessories such as chair backs, table-tops, bed-pillars, cornices, trims for busts and moldings, and other details.