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Part of European Sculpture and Decorative Arts
Simon Pantin I (British, ca. 1672–1728)
Date: 1724–25Accession Number: 68.141.81a–f
Giles Grendey (1693–1780)
Date: ca. 1735–40Accession Number: 37.115
Attributed to Thomas How (British, active 1710–33)
Date: ca. 1724–36Accession Number: 64.101.936, .937
Date: ca. 1735–40Accession Number: 37.114
Date: ca. 1755–60Accession Number: 64.101.1099
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About 1730 British silversmiths and furniture makers began exploring the Rococo, a style that celebrated asymmetry and whimsicality. In its mature expression, known as chinoiserie, the Rococo embraced exotic motifs in a fantastic mixture of Far Eastern subjects. The costly imported materials on view in this gallery attest to England's increasing cultural sophistication in the first half of the eighteenth century. Patronage of all the arts—music, theater, painting, and design—came from the aristocracy and from a new group of wealthy individuals who had benefitted from the growth of Britain's international trade.
Early in the century, British designers admired the lush formality of the French court style. The furniture in this gallery, carved with masks and scrolls, and embellished with gilding, painted glass, or gilt bronze, reflects their new interest in sophisticated, refined furnishings.
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