Hepplewhite, George (hĕpˈəlhwĪt) [key], d. 1786, English cabinetmaker and furniture designer. His style is characterized by light, curvilinear forms, painted or inlaid decoration, and distinctive details such as slender tapering legs (plain, fluted, or reeded) and the spade foot. Decorative motifs include designs introduced by Robert Adam and his brother James, ribbons, rosettes, prince of Wales feathers, ears of wheat, and the lyre. He is noted for distinctive chair backs in shield, oval, interlaced hearts, ladder, and wheel forms and for the use of much satinwood and painted beechwood as well as mahogany. His small pieces, e.g., inlaid work tables, fire screens, knife boxes, and tea caddies, are especially prized by collectors. Hepplewhite's firm was continued by his widow, who published in 1788 his Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer's Guide (repr. 1969).
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