2014 4¢ Chippendale Chair
American Design Series
Issue Date: January 2, 2014
City: Kansas City, MO
Quantity: 100 million
Printed By: Ashton Potter (USA) Ltd.
Printing Method: Photogravure
Perforations: 9 ¾ Vertical
Though this stamp was issued in 2014, it was printed with a 2013 date. According to a U.S. Postal Service spokesman, “The original intention was to issue the stamp in late December, but after printing, it was decided to defer issuance a few days to get beyond the busy holiday season.”
In the 18th century, Thomas Chippendale published The Gentleman and Cabinet Maker’s Director, a collection of designs that forged a new era in furniture making.
The Chippendale style is characterized by solid mahogany wood, intricate engraving, sweeping lines, and distinct leg styles. The American Chippendale chair was an adaptation by Colonial artisans of the popular style. Based largely in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Newport, Rhode Island, these manufacturers revised elements of the Chippendale style to create a pared-down, more-functional version of the design.
In addition to making the pieces smaller and more utilitarian, American furniture makers placed more emphasis on line symmetry and proportion. The designs are distinguished by the distinctive leg styles, which include three versions of the curved “S” shape. Each elegant, serpentine leg ends in a lion’s paw, a club, or ball-and-claw shape. The remaining leg styles include straight, a tapered round leg with a square or trapezoid foot, and a square leg with a square foot.
Many Chippendale chairs created during the American Colonial era are today valuable family heirlooms that will continue to be treasured for many generations to come.