Book 1
Thomas Chippendale’s French language edition of ‘The Gentleman and Cabinet Maker’s Director’ is the rarest version of the cabinet-maker’s defining work. A copy of it has been sold to the Chippendale Society by London bookseller Thomas Heneage.

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The society previously held the three other English-language publications (from 1754, 1755 and 1762) of the Director. Now it has completed its collection of volumes with this final copy, the rarest of the editions, originally published to reach the foreign market.

Book 2
‘The Gentleman and Cabinet Maker’s Directory’ was published to reach a wider customer base in Europe. Copies were particularly popular in Germany.

This purchase was made with funds from the Pippa Rakusen Chippendale Society Bequest and a donation from Thomas Heneage.

The copy in question was sold with its original leather binding. It included the bookplate of Friedrich Otto von Munchhausen (c.1797), whose father was head of the German Chancery in London and whose uncle was the model for the fictional Baron Munchausen.

Book 3
The Chippendale Society has acquired a copy once owned by Friedrich Otto von Munchhausen and it includes his bookplate. He was the nephew of the man who served as a model for the fictional Baron Munchausen.

Germany was the most receptive market when the book was published, though some volumes are known to exist in France and one copy was owned by Catherine the Great of Russia.

This year marks Chippendale’s tercentenary. The announcement of the acquisition comes weeks before the opening of a major exhibition Thomas Chippendale: A Celebration of Craftsmandship and Design, 1718-2018 at Leeds City Museum.