|Title||The Chevy Chase Sideboard|
|Creator||Trust House Forte Limited|
The Chevy Chase Sideboard
Booklet on the Chevy Chase Sideboard
Excerpts from the ballad of Chevy Chase
Photos of detail in carving of sideboard and the story they represent
"The death of Hotspur"
Carved by Gerrard Robinson and his biography
Begun 1857, completed 1867
Gerrard Robinson's business card
Trust House Forte Limited
7 Hanover Square
London W1R 0PS. A.D. 1981
Excerpt (see Secondary Collection for full booklet):
For nearly six centuries the ancient ballad of Chevy Chase has stirred the hearts of Englishmen and especially those who hail from the Border Country, for it is supreme among those few northern ballads which are the exclusive growth of south of the Border. As long ago as the reign of Elizabeth the First, Sir Philip Sidney wrote of it in his Apologie for Poetrie: 'I never heard the olde song of Percy and Douglas, that I found not my heart mooved more then with a trumpet; and yet is it sung but by some crouder, with no rougher voyce then rude stile.'
Ben Jonson, the Jacobean playwright, declared that he had rather have been the author of the ballad than of all his works and Davenant, the Restoration poet, listed among the qualities of a good wife next to beauty of mind and patience 'her curious voice with which she used to sing Chevy Chase'. Joseph Addison, in the time of Queen Anne, devoted two numbers of the Spectator to a critique of Chevy Chase and judged the ballad 'full of the majestic simplicity which we admire in the greatest of the ancient poets'. Perhaps the most popular of the old ballads, it has even given its name to a game of touch played in Jamaica and its tune has long been used for other ballads so that, for example, the philospher John Locke, when secretary to the embassy sent by Charles II to the Elector of Brandenburg, wrote home a description of the local church singing in which he said: 'He that could not though he had a cold make better music with a chevy chase over a pot of smooth ale, deserved well to pay the reckoning and to go away athirst.'
In the middle of the last century, wood-carving was extremely popular and wealthy men and women who patronized the art graced their dining-rooms with elaborately carved sideboards and their drawing-rooms with statuettes and carved panels illustrative of historical incidents or of scenes or characters from the works of the poets. The Chevy Chase Sideboard which today adorns the residents' lounge of the Grosvenor Hotel, Shaftesbury, is an outstanding example of Victorian taste or lack of it-a contemporary newspaper comment[.....]