A TRANSITION PERIOD

The middle of the eighteenth century was a great transition period. There had been much social unrest after the wars of the days of Queen Anne, and the many disturbances among the people of different grades of society which had followed had not yet quite settled down. This unrest has always followed any great struggle, national upheaval, or an unsatisfied public-the twentieth century is now experiencing what was more acutely felt in the eighteenth. The history of society at that time gives a clue to the ultimate resumption of trade, and to the greater attention of the people to the refurnishing of houses, and providing domestic plate and other appointments in lieu of that which had been destroyed or grown obsolete, which was a distinct feature of this transition period. Gradually as the century advanced great exponents of the newer tastes in artistic matters made themselves felt. By the middle of the century Thomas Chippendale had founded his newer style, and he and those of his school who followed imparted a new interest in domestic life,

Sugar Basin

fig29 Sugar Basin 1774

Eighteenth Century Sugar Basin

fig30 Eighteenth Century Sugar Basin

and those who could afford the luxury vied with one another in buying new silver. Then as the years rolled by Sheraton, Adam, and other cabinet-makers of note formulated independent styles, all of which were closely followed by silversmiths and metal workers. At no other time has such an influence been felt, promoting a fresh start for designer and decorator, as that during which the great furniture makers worked, compelling other crafts-men to fall in line with the styles they initiated. The styles of furniture and its ornamentation became the forms and decorated enrichment of. the silver goods which were then being fashioned. The helmet-shaped coal box which the coppersmith hammered into shape was in line with the accepted pattern of the cream jug, the foot and stand of which was altered from square to round, f and its height regulated according to the fashion of other things-the helmet cream jug was but a development of the older sauce boat. The silver candlesticks of Georgian clays were shaped and ornamented after the manner of the Doric or Corinthian columns of the buildings then erected ; even the tea-caddies were formed like the wooden ottomans and the walnut coffers then in use. Still more slavish in closely following contemporary styles were the en-gravers, who in turn produced patterns after the manner of ribbon and wreath carvings over the eighteenth century mantelpieces and doors ; they worked in accordance with the designs of the Adam Brothers, and they imitated the beautiful inlays of Sheraton style and traced designs after the manner of the Chinese taste then in vogue.