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A Concise History of American Period Furniture
By Stanley D. Saperstein
The Brothers Adam, Robert, James, and William were architects who turned into furniture designers, developing a style to match the houses they planned. They were not craftsmen, and others produced their work. But their designs were so outstanding that the style is named after them. They drew their inspirations from Greek and Roman styles and started a revolutionary era of carving.
Characteristics: Slender, strait lines, tapering legs, flat surfaces, and curving chair backs ornamented with painting, gilding, and inlay. Occasional delicate low-relief carving is used with classical Greek and Roman motifs, discs, fans, pendants, acanthus, pineapples, human figures, animal heads, and urns.
Upholstery included brocade, damask, striped satin, and silk. Mahogany and satinwood were favored woods.
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