Thomas Hope, an 18th Century Trendsetter in Art and Furniture Design

Thomas Hope (1769-1830) was a wealthy British merchant banker, author, and lover of art. He is best known for his novel Anastasius, but he was also a furniture and interior designer. The son of a line of successful Dutch and British bankers, he established a country home called Deepdene, which held an impressive collection of furniture and decorative objects.

Although not currently a household name, in his time, Hope’s designs were very impactful on British tastes. Hope was an art and architecture connoisseur and favored opulent Greco-Roman ornamentation that eventually became known as the Regency style, which swept Britain in the first quarter of 19th century. His pieces are still considered lyrical and bold, and are sought after by antique dealers, private collectors, and museums. The contents of Deepdene were auctioned by Christie’s in 1917; it is rare to see an exhibition of Thomas Hope pieces.

About the Author: Carlton Hobbs is a well-known independent dealer of fine antiques and historic objects. His gallery in New York City has sold objects to the world’s leading museums and private collections.


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