but in nine cases out of ten the handles from one piece will be utterly unsuitable to the other—almost as much an eyesore as the plain black knob. It would be far better to get the best copies obtainable made of the remains of the originals, though these will be, when closely inspected, inferior in finish to the old ones; but that does not, after all, matter very much, for the imitations will not be apparent to any one but an expert, especially when they are in their places on the furniture.
The mahogany chairs and sofas will be dealt with in a separate chapter, but there are hosts of smaller articles of furniture— urn-stands, small tables, unusually long in the leg, nest-tables which, to be complete, should be in a set of four, candlestick-stands, besides knee-hole tables, generally small, and the old ones always with a cupboard in the middle, set back about half the depth of the drawers, and varying very little from the form of the walnut-wood one illustrated on Plate 29. Then there are mahogany-framed screens, with wonderful wooden hinges that allow the leaves to turn either way, and show absolutely no daylight through. These are a revelation in the art of cabinet-making, when one first comes across a specimen, but having done so, 48
nothing else will ever satisfy one in the shape of a screen. Of washstands there are great numbers of the well-known corner shape, and also of the small square shape, unenclosed, in plain mahogany. These, by the way, are rapidly diminishing in number since the antique dealer has hit on the happy idea of converting them into tables with glass sides, for showing china ! These washstands are a charming shape, yet scarcely any one thinks it possible to use them for their original purpose, because the hole for the basin is small. I delight in them for their original purpose; they take the largest modern basin, placing it at a most comfortable elevation for any one of average height, and the tops do not get splashed and soapy because the large basin extends over them, while a couple of shelves fixed on the wall above give one more than the usual accommodation for soap and brushes and toilette requisites. I should mention that originally the smaller holes in them were filled with turned mahogany shallow cups.
Every modern luxury seems to have come in with mahogany, for there are plenty of dainty towel-horses to match the washstands. They are like miniature kitchen clothes-airers, with long feet to keep them steady. There
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