Matching Patron and Maker

The Chippendale Society viewed the Music Stands at Temple Newsam, facilitated by Curator, Leila Prescott.


Chris Pye was their guide, " I gave a preliminary talk along the lines of heritage Chip to MCA, quality of execution and innovation of designs etc at the beginning. Then, as we toured the rooms, I extolled the virtues of individual pieces. At the end I introduced everyone to carving tools, which I think was an eye opener even to those who were experts in furniture history. The stands are well-loved and the MCA looking good.


It was a great day out too. Flute and poetry. And what a great house."
Paul Munden read his poem, “Quartet," inspired by the stands and Temple Newsam staff member, Sue Bourne played her flute from music resting on the stands.

The Leeds International Piano Competition

“Matching Patron and Maker,” the suite of seven music stands created by Master Carvers in celebration of Thomas Chippendale’s tercentenary shown in the foyer of The Clothworkers Centenary Concert Hall, Leeds University Music School, The Leeds International Piano Competition; contributing to the wider engagement with the community organised by Jenny Rogers, Learning and Engagement Officer.


Congratulations to Eric Lu, Winner of, "The Dame Fanny Waterman Gold Medal,” and "The Terence Judd Hallé Orchestra Prize,"
to Mario Häring winning, “The Yaltah Menuhin Award,"
to Xinyuan Wang for third place.
Congratulations to all the participants.

Celebrating 300 years of Chippendale

June 2018

"Matching Patron and Maker" The MCA Celebrates Thomas Chippendale’s Tercentenary


The tercentenary of Thomas Chippendale’s birth has been celebrated by the Master Carvers’ Association by exhibiting recent work by members in June 2018 at Tomasso Brothers Fine Art, St James’s, Luke Hughes & Company showroom, Strand, and Ossowski Antiques, Pimlico. The works show the continuity of design and making, drawing on our traditional knowledge and techniques while not being pastiche or reproduction. A special loan of the Night Watchman’s Chair, attributed to Chippendale’s workshops, from 10 Downing Street completed the exhibition.


A programme of words and music arranged and performed by Jonathan Louth and his troupe, “ArchiCantuor” including the specially commissioned Chamber Poem by Paul Munden, celebrating the suite of music stands produced for the exhibition, entertained the opening evenings. The poem received its world premiere at Tomasso Brothers and was recited at each opening evening. The author Paul Munden read the poem on midsummer's evening at Ossowski Antiques.


Furniture designer, Luke Hughes, having worked in Covent Garden for longer than Thomas Chippendale did in his time, initiated the Music Stand project which resulted in a suite of seven stands being designed and made by members of the Association. These diverse pieces demonstrate the variety of design and execution available from MCA members. Paul Ferguson’s “Solar Flare" featured in Westminster Abbey at the 50’th anniversary celebrations of the Arts’ Society and Graham Heeley’s stand, "The Song of Life” was featured by Sean Rafferty on Radio 3.


The suite continues to tour, presently exhibiting at Burton Constable Hall and continuing in September to Leeds International Piano Competition, both in Yorkshire, Chippendale’s county of birth, and then on to The Worshipful Company of Turners’ exhibition at Carpenters’ Hall in the City of London on the 26 and 27 November. Further exposure is planned.


Our thanks go to Lennox Cato of Lennox Cato Antiques and of TV’s Antiques Roadshow fame for curating the exhibitions. To the Tomasso Brothers for hosting the opening exhibition. To Luke Hughes for hosting the exhibition, the work of his assistant Dami Babolola and his valued advice and donation. To the Ossowski brothers Matthew and Mark for hosting the exhibition. To the Carpenters Company for their generous donation. To Huon Mallalieu for his advice, literary efforts and his donation. To DKT Artworks for designing and commissioning one of the music stands and their assistant Veronika Danielsson for producing the art work. To Alan Marsh for his time and efforts photographing the music stands. To cabinet maker Sam Kidd for donating his time to make one of the stands. To Moss Bros Ltd for their donation of timber. And finally, further thanks for the support from Sir Nicholas Goodison, Tessa Murdoch, Adam Bowett, James Lomax, Debo Gage, the Chippendale 300 Partners, Helen Lederer and David Heaton.


It has been a joy to take part in this project, to work with and enjoy the comradeship of so many committed partners, putting aside personal ambition, with unity of purpose, we are greater than the sum of our parts, we have honoured our heritage, Thomas Chippendale, our artistry and craft.
Many thanks to the Patrons who loaned pieces, to all our guests who visited the exhibitions and joined us at the evening viewings.


A selection of photographs captures the animated enjoyment:


– for voices
Earth, Water, Fire, Air
Paul Munden

I. Cello




Striding out, each fineboned,
cloven, planted hoof
marks time on bedrock,
pasture, heath; a gruff
and grounded walking bass;
a founding myth
that Stamps its formative
dominion on the earth.






‘Pan’ Music Stand

II. Viola




Creatures manoeuvre within
the tremulous swell—
deep violet, blue, maroon,
the undulating colours
of corals constructing their
rococo futures
while water music lifts from
a fluted shell.







‘Nemo’ Music Stand

III. Violin II




A pulse, a current, a subtle,
solar flicker—a flare
from the coiled, exuberant
flux; harmonic torsions
of plasma channelling the
ethereal dark; vibrations
along the fretted,
counterpointed filaments of






‘Solar Flare’ Music Stand

IV. Violin I




A clean ascent, inscribing
the visible grain of the air
with its poetry, its spiralling
grace; each wingbeat
beating new song into
being, each bird’s-eyed
note of the melody intent on a
distant, dizzying frontier






‘Lark Ascending’ Music


‘Song of Life’ Music Stand

‘Split Feather Quill’ Music

The Master Carvers Association, founded in 1897, is pleased to celebrate the tercentenary of Thomas Chippendale’s birth. Browse the site to learn more about our history and skills. Each current member has their own page with information and links to their own web sites.

Restoration of one of the Dundas sofas by Carvers & Gilders

Figure 1. Restored Sofa

One of a suite of four sofas and eight chairs designed by Robert Adam and made by Thomas Chippendale in 1764/5 for Sir Lawrence Dundas. This sofa, numbered three, was restored by Carvers & Gilders for Houston Museum of Fine Arts in 2015/6. The aim of the work was to return the piece to its’ original intention which was finely carved, thinly gessoed and oil gilded. Jonathan Knight oversaw the joinery work and A. T. Cronin carried out the re-upholstery.

Figure 2. Stripping away later over-gilding.

The sofa structure is beech faced with lime and the serpentine front rail is pine and lime. Remains of the earliest oil gildings were kept and consolidated. All later water gildings were removed along with bad carving repairs. Not all later structural changes were reversed, only those which prevented the original upholstery lines being reinstated. The original curved seat bearers had been cut out for sprung seating. These were replaced. Additional tacking rail caps were removed and the carved husks were once again used as the braid which covers upholstery edges and tacks.

Figure 3. New Carving
Figure 4. New Carving
Figure 5. Recreating bolster ends
Figure 6. New gesso work