Enfilade

Thomas Chippendale: Silent ‘Biopic’, ca. 1925

Posted in films by Editor on November 13, 2018

During the 300th anniversary of Thomas Chippendale’s birth, we might also mark his 1779 death (he was buried in the grounds of St Martin’s in the Fields on 13 November) by attending to this film, recently discovered by Katie Hay (see below for a link with more information). CH

In 2017 a set of film canisters were rediscovered in the V&A stores, which turned out to contain 1920s silent ‘biopics’ of the furniture designers Thomas Chippendale and Thomas Sheraton. Both films are imaginative re-enactments of scenes from their lives. They were probably made for the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley in 1925. The Chippendale film is particularly ambitious, charting his rise to prominence and major commissions. A cast of character actors in 18th-century costumes perform on studio sets dressed with antique furniture, and out on location. It includes scenes from two moments in his career: the first in 1760, when he was elected as a member of the Royal Society of Arts, and the second in 1772, the date of his major commissions for the actor David Garrick at Adelphi Terrace and for Edwin Lascelles at Harewood House in Yorkshire. The films were transferred to the British Film Institute and are shown courtesy of the BFI National Archive.

Katie Hay, writing for the V&A Blog (7 August 2018) provides the full story of the discovery of the films with additional information about their 1920s’ context.

2 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Stacey Sloboda said, on November 16, 2018 at 6:08 pm

    !!! Thanks Craig.

  2. Editor said, on November 16, 2018 at 6:31 pm

    You’re welcome, Stacey! Not surprisingly, you were one of the people I thought of when putting this posting together 🙂

    -Craig


Leave a Reply to Stacey Sloboda Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s