John Channon

(c. 1711—1783)

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Jean Berain (1637—1711)


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(b Exeter, 1711; d London, c. 1783). English cabinetmaker. It is likely that he was apprenticed to his older brother Otho Channon (bapt 1698; d 1756), a chairmaker, in 1726. By 1737 he had established a cabinetmaking business in St Martin's Lane, London. A spectacular pair of bookcases at Powdersham Castle, near Exeter, Devon, bear brass plates engraved ‘J Channon Fecit 1740’. They are of architectural character featuring inlaid brass linear designs, arabesques and grotesques in a retardataire style associated with Jean Berain and are further embellished with highly finished, Rococo gilt-brass mounts in a style reminiscent of German, especially Dresden, furniture. On the stylistic evidence of engraved brass inlay combined with a flamboyant repertoire of ornamental mounts representing dolphins, satyr and female masks, foliage and waterfalls etc, other pieces are attributed to the Channon workshop, including a library desk (c. 1740; London, V&A) and the Murray writing-cabinet (Leeds, Temple Newsam House). The latter masterwork embodies all the elements of the Powdersham bookcases plus a plethora of drawers and concealed compartments, the pediment surmounted by classical figures in gilt bronze; the mounts feature satyrs and petrified fountains.

From The Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Decorative Arts, Furniture, and Industrial Design.

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