Accessories Of The Chippendale And Federal


We may now proceed with the accessories of our beSt periods, and it will greatly simplify an underStanding of them to remember that in general they follow the characteristics of each Style—which we have already seen in furniture and architecture—and are therefore not difficult to classify.

An example of this is the tall clock illustrated in Plate 139 and made; by E. Duffield, the executor of Benjamin Franklin, and its case by some one of the famous group of Philadelphia cabinet-makers of the Chippendale period. Here again we have the characteristic details of the highboys—scrolled pediment with flower rosettes and carved Rococo central ornament. The quarter-section corner-columns and ogee bracket-feet appear as well. Later cases naturally followed the Hepplewhite-Sheraton Style. In the frontispiece will be seen examples of the mantel and "banjo" clocks. Small portable or table clocks were made very early—by about the beginning of the eighteenth century—but moSt of these attractive mantel clocks and also the banjo Style are of the early nineteenth century—after the war of 1812. The Style of mantel-clock appearing in Plate 140 is of 1820-30.

A fire-screen with fine and unusual base will be

TALL CLOCK BY E. DUFFIELD By Courtesy Howard Reifsnyder, Esq. Photograph by Whitenack

CLOCK OF 1810-30, FLUID LAMPS, AND OLD PRINTS By Courtesy of Howard Reiisnyder, Esq. Photograph by Diiion seen in the frontispiece, and in this picture also appears a decorative feature commonly neglected but of which other illustrations appear here—the wall-bracket. The pair in the Philadelphia Room (frontispiece) are of shell pattern and Chippendale period. Those with the cheSt-of-drawers and mirror of 1790-1800 in Plate 43 are Chippendale Rococo, while two of varying size and pattern, but both classic, accompany the superb late Sheraton dressing-table in Plate 78. The latter came from the celebrated Burd house in Philadelphia, long since demolished. The Chippendale brackets were bought from a previous American possessor but are believed to be of English make.

Our forefathers muSt have found illumination for social functions an expensive business, for we read of drawing-rooms ablaze with candlelight. There were brass or crystal chandeliers such as that in the illustration of Kenmore (Plate 131), side lights, and the cut glass luStre candelabra like those appearing on the mantel in Plate 138. Several of the illustrations show lamps for the burning of fluid and a lamp of Empire design is seen in Plate 100. Floor Standards holding several candles were occasionally used. Sheffield and brass candlesticks were of course very usual.

Except for the modern cheap reproductive processes we possess no advantage over our ancestors in the providing of pictures for our walls, and these facilities were far outweighed by conditions obtaining in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. The now practically discontinued arts of Steel and copper engraving, mezzotint, and the type of colour-printing then in use were at their highest development, and prints for which we would now have to pay hundreds and sometimes thousands of dollars were then obtainable at reasonable figures. All these, including the lovely colour-prints after paintings by Gainsborough, Reynolds, and Romney of England and such mailers of genre as Fragonard, Boucher, Huet, and Lavreince of France, were then accessible through importation by enterprising dealers here. The writer himself possesses a fine impression of John Browne's engraving of Claude Lorrain's Cephalus and Procris, 1779, which formerly hung in an old house in Germantown. Such classical subjects were naturally favourites all through the early years of our independence.

In painting, the family portrait was of course prominent. It was not every house that could boaSl a Stuart, a Trumbull, or a Copley, but there were other capable men, and many whose work can only, at the beSt, be considered "quaint."

The popularity of the St. Memin portraits may be judged from the number that ¿till remain. Some portraits were painted in water-colours and there were several excellent miniaturists of American birth.

Americans travelling abroad frequently brought home with them foreign paintings, especially copies of the work of the old maSters.

But rampant above all upon the walls of the early nineteenth century was the patriotic print. A few of them are shown in illustrations here, but in number they muSl have extended into hundreds of subjects.

. Modern Americans seem at laSt to be overcoming their timidity in the use of colour. Certainly the interpretation too often given by the usual householder to his so-called "Colonial" home has been totally wrong in this respect: our forebears, and particularly those of cultivated taStes, knew no such fear, though probably Strict Puritans and Quakers were conservative in its use. Every opportunity occurred for the employment of colour—furniture-coverings, curtains, rugs, bed-draperies and coverlets, often in wall-paper; in fire-screens and other embroideries, pictures, framed samplers, pottery, and the like; while the sheen of metal and of glass gleamed from polished silver and brass-ware, from copper and pewter, from candle-Slicks, andirons, mirrors, and frames.

Decorative textiles afford the largest surfaces of colour; and for these America drew upon the resources of the world. This says it all: for whatever was used in England, France, Italy, or China was pretty sure to find its echo here. Probably the number of historic tapeStries was very small, but needlework was employed, and richness was obtained by the use of silks, satins, brocades, damasks, brocatelles, Genoa velvets, and leather. Printed fabrics were much in vogue, including the famous toile de Jouy. India prints for hangings and coverlets, with the tree-of-life and other moSt attractive designs in colours, had been in use for years and in this period were made in Philadelphia by John Hewson, a protege of Franklin, by 1774, and a little later by several others. All these fabrics recur in profusion in inventories, letters, descriptions, and advertisements that Still survive. Gaily flowered satins, yellow damask, red brocades or brocatelles, crimson and yellow or blue and silver silks—such were a few of the materials in use. Italy was famous for its velvets and France for its silks, and one of the elaborate patterns of the later years of the eighteenth century is shown in Plate 94 A in the contemporary silk covering of a French Direiloire chair, by permission of William Helburn, Inc. But Stripes, small figures, and self-coloured damasks and brocades were in use as well. Horsehair, often patterned, was a favourite covering, as we who in our childhood have slipped off ancient family sofas and bumped our heads may very well remember.

European manufacturers were enterprising in seizing upon the opportunity offered by our patriotism, and they not only furnished us with draperies bearing such motifs but with faience, pictures, buSts, mirrors, and wall-papers of like character.

In our later period, when the influence of the Napoleonic decoration of the Consulate and Empire had its effect upon our decoration, colouring often became less harmonious. That of the Stevens interior illustrated in Plate 134 is as follows: walls, grey; the carpet, a Strong green; furniture-coverings and pillows, blue. The curtains of the cabinet in the farther room are rose, and it would have been well to have imported a little of that hue into the nearer portion. The ugly Pompeian brickish red was a favourite under the French Empire and we may be thankful that it was not used in this interior. In the water-colour drawing of it the lattice windows are uncurtained. A quite thorough combing of likely sources has not yet brought to light contemporary illustrations of much value showing the curtain-arrangements of our earlier years, and so we are forced to rely upon descriptions and our knowledge of the originals of our Styles. These were Ackermann's Repository, the furniture-books, and such volumes as George D. Smith's "Cabinet-Maker and Upholsterer's Guide," which sums up the modes he had been using. All these were English, all frankly followed the French fashion, and all were highly elaborate. I give two tracings from Sheraton's "Drawing-Book," the plates being dated 1792 and 93. In our American records we read of "feStoons," and here, ladies and gentlemen, are feStoons!

It is unlikely that these designs were fully carried out here—they would have been adapted and simplified. We may be quite sure that in our be§t houses the arrangement consisted of long heavy curtains with valance and often an added cornice. Light glass-curtains were used with them. The long curtains would have ornamental bands or be looped with cords and tassels. The valance might be plain, shaped,

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