Thomas Sheraton is probably the most famous English furniture designer of the Eighteenth Century after Thomas Chippendale. However unlike Chippendale it is doubtful whether Sheraton ever made any pieces of furniture himself and his first foray into publishing was a religious tract entitled 'A Scriptural Illustration of the Doctrine of Regeneration' (1782).
Sheraton's fame rests on the 'The Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer's Drawing Book' published in 1791. This book should be regarded as more of a collection of fashionable designs than an attempt to lead English furniture design in a new direction. The pieces in 'The Drawing Book' can all be characterised by an emphasis on the vertical which gives the pieces a lightness and elegance of design.
Thomas Sheraton's designs are also a reflection of the growing wealth of Britain and its ever expanding Empire. Many of the designs demonstrate the use of exotic woods in crossbandings and inlays and strongly contrasting woods such as satinwood and rosewood.
In 1803 Sheraton published 'The Cabinet Dictionary, containing an explanation of all the terms used in the Cabinet, Chair and Upholstery branches, containing a display of useful articles of furniture'. The designs in this volume are more in the early Regency style with the convex mirror making its first appearance.