Chippendale’s classic Marquetry Revealed – Added text update  

Insert for page 124 for book printed between 4th July and 8th October 2018 


Discovering Synthetic Dyestuff used on the replica Diana & Minerva Commode

I write this paragraph some ten/eleven years after constructing much of the marquetry work for the replica Diana & Minerva Commode, described in the early part of Chapter 6. I refer to the top, domed door, end panels, drawer fronts, two outer doors, and the columns between the drawers and doors.  As I write this additional text here in 2018, between eight and ten years have elapsed since the dyed veneers were first laid onto their respective substrates. Noticing that the colours are as bright and crisp in colour as the day I laid them, I began to question the source of the dyed veneers I first purchased in 2007 from a UK veneer supplier (at the time) called Art Veneers. The firm sold me the green and pinky/red veneers, which are sycamore. The tonal values were perfect for use on this replica and I considered myself a lucky man to obtain them. However, not knowing the source of the dyes, nor where they were dyed and by whom, presented questions I needed answers to. 

  In 2018 I sent both samples off to Heinrich Piening in Munich for analysis. Within days he told me that both the red and green samples were dyed with synthetic dyes. It was the answer I expected and indeed welcomed. Heinrich went on to say: “The results with my spectra library do not fit exactly, but the colour class and family will fit. Red is an athrachinone, similar to the natural cochineal. The green belongs to indanthren colour group, a product from BASF (Baden Aniline and Soda Factory). The green also fits to the original Chippendale green in the colourmetry of my system. Both colours are normally used for dyeing textiles. 

 By pure chance I had built coloured marquetry work that would last perhaps for many, many years and would not (as discussed in Chapter 5 on pages 147-48) lose their dyed colours within ten years after exposure to ultra-violet sunlight.      

Please print this insert and include it in your book on page 124