Monday, April 25, 2016

19th Century Bedroom Furnishings Part 3

This is the final post on the Furnishings of the Bedroom. I hope you've enjoyed seeing what was a part of their design and thinking from the 19th Century.

For this excerpt I've inserted the illustrations as the writer mentioned them.

Fashionable Furniture.—Architect designing Furniture.

IN the illustration (Fig. 46)
we have several articles of bedroom furniture, modelled after the style of the seventeenth century, which recommends itself by its characteristic simplicity and honesty of treatment. The bed has a canopy framework, from which curtains are suspended, the cove being covered with stamped leather. The decoration in the panels may be inlaid, or painted simply in stencil pattern.
Fig. 47
shows a dressing-table of the same period, which, in some respects, answers the purpose of a bureau, being liberally supplied with drawers. There is, also, a corner cabinet, intended for a jewel-case, back of which a small burglar and fire-proof box may be inserted in the brickwork, and entirely masked by an inner door. Medicine-cases are often constructed in this manner.
Figs. 48 and 49
are a wash-stand and commode of the same school. Fig. 37
is a hanging cabinet, similar to the one in the library (Fig. 30).
(The hanging cabinet is on the left hand side of the image.)
One great difficulty in the way of introducing furniture of this description is, that people do not know where to find it. They usually go to a fashionable dealer, and are compelled to choose from what they see before them. It is true that several of our manufacturers have attempted to offer something better in the way of design, and with considerable success and profit. But their great mistake has been that, knowing they had the monopoly, they made their prices so high that few could afford to deal with them, thus confining the possibility of exercising good taste to wealthy persons alone. There is really no reason why this furniture should be more expensive than any other. That fashionable upholsterers should subordinate art to sordid and mercenary considerations indicates a short-sighted policy; for the wider the diffusion of art culture among the people, the greater will be the demand for furniture of artistic design. If one of their patrons desires anything new, they will usually prepare a design, and with it submit a price; but should he ask to retain the drawing in order to get further estimates, the privilege is promptly refused, and the statement usually vouchsafed that they are not in the habit of
allowing other manufacturers to profit by their brains. One is, therefore, compelled to take an inferior design from another establishment, or pay the price of the original estimate, exorbitant as it may be. There is a simple remedy for all this which, as I have mentioned before, is coming into practice.
Source: Modern Dwellings in Town and Country Adapted to American Wants ©1878

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