Project Gutenberg's Colonial Homes and Their Furnishings, by Mary H. Northend

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Title: Colonial Homes and Their Furnishings

Author: Mary H. Northend

Release Date: January 9, 2011 [EBook #34897]

Language: English

Character set encoding: ISO-8859-1


Produced by Annie McGuire. This book was produced from
scanned images of public domain material from the Internet



Plate I.—Dodge-Shreves Doorway. Built in 1816. Plate I.—Dodge-Shreves Doorway. Built in 1816.










Copyright, 1912,

By Little, Brown, and Company.






[Pg vii]


The wonderfully good collection of antiques for which Salem is noted was of great interest to me, being owned by personal friends who kindly consented to allow me for the first time to go through their homes and pick out the cream of their inheritance. If the readers are half as interested in these objects as I have become,—growing enthusiastic in the work through the valuable pieces found,—they will enjoy the pictures of colonial furnishings, many of which cannot be duplicated in any other collection of antiques. Family bits, wonderful old Lowestoft, and other treasures are included, all brought over in the holds of cumbersome ships, at the time when the commerce of Salem was at high tide.

To Mr. Charles R. Waters, Mrs. Nathan C. Osgood, Mrs. Henry P. Benson, Mrs. William C. West, Mrs. Nathaniel B. Mansfield, Miss A. Grace Atkinson, Mrs. Walter C. Harris, Dr. Hardy Phippen, Mrs. McDonald White, and Mr. Horatio P. Peirson, as well as many others in my native city, I owe acknowledgment for their kindness in opening their houses and letting me in, as well as to[Pg viii] Mrs. George Rogers of Danvers, Mrs. D. P. Page, Dr. Ernest H. Noyes, and Mrs. Charles H. Perry of Newburyport, Mrs. Walter J. Mitchell of Manchester, Mrs. Prescott Bigelow and Mrs. William O. Kimball of Boston, Mrs. A. A. Lord of Newton, Mrs. Charles M. Stark of Dunbarton, N.H., and the late Mr. Daniel Low.

The work was commenced at first through ill health and the desire for occupation, and has met with such good results through an interest in the story of antiques, that I have to-day one of the most valuable collections of photographs to be found in New England.

August 1, 1912.


I.Old Houses
II.Colonial Doorways
III.Door Knockers
IV.Old-Time Gardens
V.Halls and Stairways
VI.Fireplaces and Mantelpieces
VII.Old-Time Wall Papers
VIII.Old Chairs and Sofas
IX.Sideboards, Bureaus, Tables, etc.
XII.Old-Time Clocks
XIII.Old-Time Lights
XIV.Old China
XV.Old Glass
XVI.Old Pewter
XVII.Old Silver


I.Dodge-Shreves Doorway. Built in 1816
II.The Warner House, Portsmouth, N. H. Built in 1718
III.Middleton House, Bristol, R. I. Built about 1808
IV.Indian Hill Farm, West Newbury, Mass. Begun soon after 1650
V.Andrew House Doorway, 1818
VI.Gardner House Doorway, 1804
VII.Doorway of Nathan Robinson House, 1804
VIII.Sixteenth Century Knocker, Lion type. Striker, of first type; Georgian Urn type, in use on modern houses; Mexican Knocker of the Hammer type; Hammer type Knocker, Eighteenth Century, Charles P. Waters House
IX.Eagle Knocker; Eagle Knocker, Rogers House, Danvers, Mass.; Medusa Head, elaborate early type; Garland type of Knocker
X.Whittier Garden, Danvers, Mass.
XI.Peabody Garden, Danvers, Mass.
XII.Saltonstall Hallway, about 1800
XIII.Hallway, Lee House, 1800
XIV.Hallway, Tucker House, about 1800
XV.Hallway of Wentworth House, 1750
XVI.Historic Fireplace at Ipswich, Mass.
XVII.Old Fireplace in Wentworth House, Portsmouth, N. H.
XVIII.First Hob Grate in New England, Waters House; Mantel Glass and Fireplace, showing decoration of floral basket
XIX.Middleton House Steeple Top Andirons, and Bellows; Southern Andirons, Atkinson Collection
XX.Cupid and Psyche paper, Safford House
XXI.Venetian paper in Wheelwright House, Newburyport
XXII.Roman Ruins paper, Lee Mansion, Marblehead
XXIII.Adventures of Telemachus paper, Nymphs Swinging
XXIV.Queen Anne Fiddle Back; Queen Anne, Stuffed Chair; Dutch Chair, carved; Empire Lyre-backed Roundabout, on Chippendale lines, 1825
XXV.Chippendale, Lord Timothy Dexter's Collection, H. P. Benson; French Chair, showing Empire influence; Flemish Chair; Banister-back Chair
XXVI.Chippendale Armchair, showing straight, square legs; Chippendale Chair; Chippendale, one of a set of six, showing Rosette design; Chippendale Armchair with Cabriole legs, Ball and Claw feet
XXVII.Empire Sofa; Cornucopia Sofa; Sofa in Adams style, about 1800
XXVIII.Sheraton, mahogany frame, about 1800; Sheraton, with solid arms, and straight, slender legs; Sheraton, about 1790. Note the graceful curve of the arms
XXIX.Sheraton, about 1800; Sofa, about 1820; Sofa, about 1820, with winged legs
XXX.Sheraton Night Table; Block Front Bureau Desk, owned by Dr. Ernest H. Noyes, Newburyport, Mass.; Cellarette, 1790, owned originally by Robert Morris
XXXI.Dressing Glass, with Petticoat legs; Empire Bureau, 1816
XXXII.Chest of Drawers, 1710; Six-legged High Chest of Drawers, about 1705
XXXIII.Dressing Table, with brass feet; Bureau and Dressing Glass
XXXIV.Block Front Bureau Desk, owned by Nathan C. Osgood. One of the best specimens in New England; oak paneled Chest, about 1675
XXXV.Secretary, showing Shell ornamentation; Highboy with Shell ornamentation and Ball and Claw feet, 1760; Highboy with Shell ornamentation
XXXVI.Dressing Table, 1760; Mahogany Commode, collection of Nathan C. Osgood
XXXVII.Sheraton Sideboard; Simple form of Sheraton Sideboard, with line Inlay around Drawers and Doors. Date, 1800
XXXVIII.Bedstead in Middleton House, 1798
XXXIX.Sheraton type in Kittredge House; Four-poster, about 1825
XL.Field Bedstead, slept in by Lafayette, in Stark Mansion. Owned by Mrs. Charles Stark, Dunbarton, N. .
XLI.Sheraton Four-poster; Four-poster showing decided English characteristics
XLII.Girandole in George Ropes House, 1800; Girandole, 1800; Constitution Mirror, 1780
XLIII.Picture Mirror, showing Dawn, in Adams House, 1703; English Georgian Mirror, 1750; Two-piece Looking Glass, 1750
XLIV.Oval Mirror, showing Acanthus Leaves. Once on Cleopatra's Barge. The first pleasure yacht built in America. Mirror, 1710, resting on ornamental knobs; Mirror, 1810, in Dudley L. Pickman House
XLV.Mirror, 1770; Lafayette Courting Mirror, Osgood Collection; Empire Mirror, 1810
XLVI.Willard Banjo Clock, 1802; Banjo Clock, 1804; Willard Banjo Clock, 1802
XLVII.English Grandfather's Clock, William Dean Howells; Collection of Old Clocks, property of Mr. Mills, Saugus, Mass.; Grandfather's Clock, formerly owned by President Franklin Pierce. Property of Mrs. Charles Stark
XLVIII.General Stephen Abbot Clock; Terry Shelf Clock, 1824; English Clock, with Ball ornamentation
XLIX.Whale Oil Lamps with Wicks; Mantel Lamps, 1815; Paul and Virginia Candelabra
L.Astral Lamps, 1778; English Brass Branching Candlestick, showing Lions
LI.Colonial Mantel Lamp; Single Bedroom Brass Candlestick; Sheffield Plate Candlesticks
LII.Pierced, or Paul Revere, Lantern; Old Hand Lantern; English Silver Candlestick; Brass Branching Candlestick, Chippendale, 1760
LIII.Peacock Plate of Delft, very rare; Decorated Salt Glaze Plate, about 1780
LIV.Liverpool Pitcher, showing Salem ship; Old Chelsea Ware; Canton China Teapot; Wedgewood, with Rose decoration. Very rare
LV.Gold Luster Pitcher; Staffordshire Pitcher, with Rose decoration; Peacock Delft Pitcher; Jasper Ware Wedgewood Pitcher, Blue and White
LVI.The Shepherd Toby. One of the rarest Tobies; English Toby, very old; very old Toby showing Cocked Hat
LVII.Venetian and English Decanters; Toddy Glasses, about 1800; English Glass with Silver Coasters. Very old
LVIII.Russian Glass Decanter and Tumblers. Note the exquisite cutting on this Decanter
LIX.English Cut Glass Decanter, about 1800; Typical Red Bohemian Glass Decanter; American Glass Bottle, Jenny Lind, about 1850
LX.Bohemian Glass. The center one is rare, showing figure of Peacock, in Red and White; English Cut Glass Wineglasses, 1790; English Glass Decanters. Very fine and rare
LXI.Pewter half-pint, pint, and quart Measures. One hundred years old; Three unusual shaped Pewter Cream Jugs; German Pewter, Whorl pattern
LXII.Old Silver Coffee Urn with Pineapple finial; Sheffield Plate Teapot, formerly owned by President Thomas Jefferson; Tall Silver Pitcher, of Flagon influence
LXIII.Several old silver pieces; collection of Salem silver, almost all inherited; wonderfully fine Silver Bowl with chasing

[Pg 1]



There is an indescribable charm surrounding colonial houses, especially if historic traditions are associated with them. Many of an early date of erection are still to be found throughout New England towns, where the Puritan and the Pilgrim first settled, and not a few have remained in the same families since their construction. Some are still in an excellent state of preservation, though the majority show weather-beaten exteriors, guiltless of paint, with broken windows and sagging sills, speaking forcibly of a past prosperity, and mutely appealing through their forlornness for recognition.

These are not, however, the first homes built by the colonists, and, indeed, it is doubtful if any examples of the earliest type are still standing.[Pg 2] These were rude cabins built of logs, kept together by daubings of clay thrust into their chinks, and showing roofs finished with thatch. Great chimneys were characteristic of all these cabins, built of stone, lengthened at the top with wood, and best known by the name Catted Chimneys. In the rude interiors of the old-time fireplaces hung soot-blackened cranes, while on cold, cheerless nights the blaze of logs on the hearths

"Made the rude, bare, raftered room
Burst, flowerlike, into rosy bloom."

The next type was the frame house, built large or small according to the means of the owner, and constructed through the influence of Governor John Endicott, who sent to England for skilled workmen. Generally, these dwellings were two stories in height, the more pretentious ones showing peaks on either side to accommodate chambers, and their marked superiority over the first type soon resulted in their adoption throughout New England. In design they bore some resemblance to the Dutch architecture of the period, the outcome doubtless of many of the early settlers' long sojourn in Holland. Many of the frames were of white wood brought from the mother country in the incoming[Pg 3] ships, and the low ceilings invariably present were crossed with the heavy beams of the floors above, projecting through the timbers.

The lean-to, characteristic of some houses of this type, did not come into vogue until about the middle of the seventeenth century, and its adoption is generally believed to have been for the use of the eldest son of the family, who, according to the law of England, would inherit the homestead, and until such inheritance, could remain, with his family, beneath the ancestral roof.

The third type, the gambrel-roofed house, was at the height of its popularity about the time of the Revolutionary War, and continued in favor until the tide of commercial prosperity sweeping through the land brought in its wake the desire for more pretentious dwellings. Then came into fashion the large, square, wooden mansion, later followed by that of stately brick, excellent examples of both types being still extant.

Like the Egyptian Isis who went forth to gather up the scattered fragments of her husband Osiris, fondly hoping that she might be able to bring back his former beauty, so we of to-day are endeavoring in New England to gather and bring into unison portions of the early homes, that we may eventually[Pg 4] restore them to their original charm and dignity. Outwardly these dwellings appear much as they did when built, more than a century ago, but inwardly sad changes have been wrought, leaving scarcely a trace of their old-time beauty. Yet beneath this devastation one versed in house lore can read many a tale of interest, for old houses, like old books, secrete between their covers many a story that is well worth while.

Among the carefully preserved specimens, none of the earlier type is more interesting than the Pickering house at Salem, Massachusetts, built in 1660, more than a hundred years before the Revolution. The land on which it stands is part of the twenty acres' grant which was a portion of Governor's Field, originally owned by Governor Endicott, and conveyed by him to Emanuel Downing, who, in order to pay for his son George's commencement dinner at Harvard, disposed of it to John Pickering, the builder of the home, in 1642.

In design, the dwelling is Gothic, a popular type in the Elizabethan period, and closely resembles the Peacock Inn at Rouseley, England. The timbers used in its construction were taken from a near-by swamp, and when it was first built it showed on the northern side a sloping roof affording[Pg 5] but a single story at that end. In 1770, the then owner, Timothy Pickering, decided to raise this end to make room for three chambers, and the new portion was built to conform exactly with the old part, the windows equipped with the same quaint panes, set in leaded strips, which were finely grooved to receive the glass, on which the lead was pressed down and soldered together. It was found when the weatherboards were ripped off that the sills were sound, and it was decided to continue to use them, feeling they would last longer than those that could then be obtained. Two of the peaks found to be leaky were removed at this time, and they were not replaced until 1840, when Colonel Timothy Pickering's son, John, had reproductions set in place. The house has never been out of the Pickering family, and, with one exception, has descended to a John Pickering ever since its erection.

Distinctly a New England landmark is the Colonel Jeremiah Page house at Danvers, Massachusetts, erected in the year 1750. It occupies a site that at the time of its construction was on the highway between Ipswich and Boston, now broadened at this point and known as Danvers Square. Originally, it consisted of four rooms, but these were[Pg 6] later moved back and a new front added, the ell being replaced by a larger one.

From a historic point of view, the roof is probably the most interesting feature of this old home, for here occurred the famous tea-party that Lucy Larcom has forever immortalized. During the troublous times of 1775, when all good patriots scorned the use of tea, Colonel Page demanded that it should not be drunk beneath his roof. Mistress Page had acceded to his request, but she did not promise that she would not drink it on his roof, so with a few friends she repaired one afternoon to the rail-enclosed roof, and here brewed and distributed the much liked beverage. The secret of the tea-party did not leak out until after her death, when one of the party, visiting at the house, asked to be taken to the roof, at the same time relating the, till then unknown, experience.

Antedating the Page house some twenty-five years is the home of the Stearns family on Essex Street, Salem, erected by Joseph Sprague, a prominent old-time merchant, whose warehouse occupied the present site at the corner of North and Federal streets. This dwelling is of spacious dimensions, excellently proportioned, and it is especially interesting from the fact of its unusual interior arrangement,[Pg 7] which provides on each floor for three rooms at the back and only two at the front. The original owner was captain of the first uniformed company of militia organized in Salem, April 22, 1776, and he was also the first American to spill his blood in the Revolution, receiving a slight wound at the time of Leslie's retreat, while scuttling his gondola so it should not fall into the hands of the enemy.

Another fine old home is the Cabot house, also in Salem. This dwelling, erected in 1745 by one Joseph Cabot, is considered by experts to be of the purest colonial type, and it has proved a subject of unusual interest to any number of artists and architects.

No modern touch has been allowed to mar the old-time aspect of the Whipple house at Ipswich, Massachusetts, built in 1760, and which remains wholly unchanged from its original construction. It stands to-day almost alone in its picturesque antiquity, its huge central chimney, tiny window-panes, plain front door, guiltless of porch, with iron knocker, steep-pitched roof with lean-to at the back nearly sweeping the ground,—all betokening its age. Little wonder it is the haunt of tourists, for it presents a picture in its old-time beauty that modern architecture can never duplicate.[Pg 8]

In the historic town of Marblehead, in Massachusetts, is one of the most interesting of old-time homes,—the Colonel Jeremiah Lee mansion, built in 1768, and considered at the time of its erection the finest house in the Colonies. It was designed by an English architect at a cost of ten thousand pounds, and the timber and finish used in its construction were brought from England in one of the colonel's ships. It stands well to the front of the lot of which it forms a part, with scarcely any yard space separating it from the sidewalk, and it boasts a handsome porch supported by finely carved pillars, approached by a flight of steps. The broad entrance door, with its brass latch and old-time knob, swings easily upon its great hinges into a spacious hall that extends the length of the dwelling, affording access to the finely finished interior apartments.

Plate II.—The Warner House, Portsmouth, N. H. Built in 1718 Plate II.—The Warner House, Portsmouth, N. H. Built in 1718

Equally as interesting as these old homes are several houses in New Hampshire, one of the most prominent being the Stark mansion at Dunbarton. This was built in 1785 by Major Caleb Stark of Revolutionary fame, and it is approached to-day through the original tree-lined avenue, a mile in length. In construction it is of the mansion type, two stories in height, with gambrel roof, twelve[Pg 9] dormer windows, and a large, two-storied ell. Its entrance door is nearly three inches through, with handsome, hand-made panels, and it swings on wrought-iron hinges two feet either way. It is adorned with a knocker and latch that were brought from England by the major. Ever since its erection, this house has been occupied by a member of the Stark family, and the present owner, Charles Morris Stark, boasts the distinction of being of Revolutionary stock on both sides of the family, his mother being a lineal descendant of Robert Morris, the great financier of the Revolution.

Another interesting colonial home is the Warner house at Portsmouth, occupying a corner section on one of the city's main thoroughfares. This fine dwelling was erected by Captain Macpheadris, a wealthy merchant who came to this country from Scotland, and it is built of Dutch bricks that were imported from Holland, with walls eighteen inches thick. It stands firmly on its foundation, a magnificent specimen of early construction; and its gambrel roof, Lutheran windows, quaint cupola, and broad simplicity of entrance door, suggest the old-time hospitality that was so freely dispensed here. After the captain's death, the house came to his daughter, Mary, who[Pg 10] had married Hon. Jonathan Warner, a member of the King's Council until the outbreak of the Revolution, and it is by his name that the fine old home is known.

Two miles from Portsmouth, at Little Harbor, is the old home of Governor Benning Wentworth, built in 1750. In general, this dwelling is two stories in height, with wings that form three sides of a hollow square, though it boasts no particular style of architecture, appearing to be rather a group of buildings added to the main structure from time to time. It is screened from the roadway by great trees, and on the north and east faces the water. Originally it had fifty-two rooms, but some of these have been combined, so to-day there are but forty-five. The cellar is particularly large, and here in times of danger the governor hid his horses. After the governor's death, his widow married John Wentworth, and it was during the occupancy of Sir John and his wife that Washington was entertained here.

Plate III.—Middleton House, Bristol, R. I. Built about1808. Plate III.—Middleton House, Bristol, R. I. Built about 1808.

Typical of the wooden mansion type, that succeeded in favor the gambrel-roofed dwellings, is the house now known as the Endicott house, at Danvers, Massachusetts. This building, constructed about 1800, was purchased about 1812 by Captain Joseph[Pg 11] Peabody, a Salem merchant, and grandfather of the present owner, as a place of refuge for himself and family during the embargo. In design, it is most imposing, and the front now shows a wide veranda, with the entrance dignified by a porte-cochère, supported by high columns, between each two of which a great bay tree is set. Sweeps of smooth lawn afford an attractive setting, and great trees, here and there, bestow protecting shade. The dwelling is surrounded by beautiful gardens, the most interesting from a historic point of view being the old-fashioned posy plot laid out at the time of the erection of the house.

Not unlike in type to this fine home is "Hey Bonnie Hall" in Rhode Island, the residence of the Misses Middleton. Built in 1808, it stands to-day in all its original beauty, the pure white of its exterior admirably set off by the great green sweeps of sward, dotted with fine trees, that surround it on all sides. It was erected from plans of Russell Warren, who designed the White House at Washington, and it is renowned not only for its beautiful colonial architecture, but also for the wonderful collection of old-time furniture and objects of art that it contains.

Plate IV.—Indian Hill Farm, West Newbury, Mass. Begun soon after 1650. Plate IV.—Indian Hill Farm, West Newbury, Mass. Begun soon after 1650.

In type, it is very similar to a Maryland manor,[Pg 12] with projecting wings, the service portion in a separate building connected with the main house by a covered passage, after the Southern fashion. In this passage is the well room, so called from the fact that a well of pure spring water is located here. In length the house is one hundred and forty feet, its front just enough broken to avoid monotony, and its spaciousness affording an air of comfort. Two Corinthian columns, as high as the house itself, support the roof over the entrance porch, and on either side are well-protected verandas, overlooking beds of old-fashioned flowers and smooth stretches of sward. In front lies the harbor, and beyond is the picturesque town of Bristol, affording a most pleasing prospect.

Unlike these latter-day types, in fact unlike any set design, is the low, rambling house at West Newbury, Massachusetts, known as Indian Hill, and so called from the location that it occupies. In appearance, this dwelling is most picturesque, resembling in design a castle, and it is as historic as it is interesting. The site that it occupies is the last reservation of the Indians in the neighborhood, the land having been sold by Old Tom, the Indian chieftain, to the town, and the deed of the sale being still preserved by the present owners.[Pg 13]

Plate V.—Andrew House Doorway, 1818. Plate V.—Andrew House Doorway, 1818.

Viewed from any angle, the house presents a series of pictures, each equally as interesting as the other, and its irregular roof lines, gables and bays, quaint, diamond-paned windows, and chimneys adorned with chimney pots, are further embellished by the flowering vines of a rambler rose, perhaps the finest in the country. While the house can be seen from the road, it is only when one drives under the archway into the courtyard, bounded on three sides by barn, stables, and house, that he can realize its true worth.

Salem, fortunate in specimens of early construction, is also fortunate in examples of latter-day types, and here are to be found several of the fine brick dwellings, built at the time of her greatest commercial prosperity. One of these is the Andrews house, located on Washington Square, and one of the three dwellings erected in 1818. Its brick exterior gives no hint of its age other than the softening dignity that time bequeaths, and it stands to-day, tall and broad, its gray-faced bricks brightened by white trimmings, and its beauty emphasized by a fine circular porch supported by white columns, topped with a high balustrade. At one side is a charming old-fashioned garden, laid out in prim, box-bordered beds, and all about its fence[Pg 14] inclosure flowering vines clamber. Complete, the dwelling cost forty thousand dollars,—a large sum for the time of its erection.

Every brick used in its construction was first dipped into boiling oil to render it impervious to moisture, and all the framework is of timbers seasoned by long exposure to the sun and rain. On one brick is cut the date of erection, the work of the master builder under whose supervision the dwelling was erected. The great pillars of the side porch, overlooking the garden, are packed, so the story goes, with rock salt—not an uncommon process at that time—to keep out dampness and to save the wood from being eaten by worms.

Some years previous to the erection of this dwelling, Mr. Nathan Robinson had constructed on Chestnut Street a brick dwelling, considered by connoisseurs to be one of the finest specimens to-day extant. The porch, at the front, is wonderfully fine, and has attracted the attention of any number of students and architects, who have made a careful study of it.

And so we might go on and on, singling out particularly good specimens here and there, but when all is said and done, it is undeniable that all old houses afford interesting study. Architects of[Pg 15] the present are coming to appreciate their worth, and into many modern homes features of early construction are being incorporated. Naturally, to the antiquarian, nothing can ever take the place of these bygone specimens, and as he paces the main thoroughfares of historic cities, now lined with stores, he sees in fancy the stately homes with their fragrant garden plots, which modern demand has superseded. Pausing on the curbing near the old State House in Boston, what an array of bygone dwellings in fancy can be conjured, and how many of the old-time dignitaries can be recalled. So vivid is the picture that one might almost expect to see old Thomas Leverett saunter by, or perchance hear the rattle of wheels as the carriage of Dr. Elisha Cook lumbered on its way. It is a pleasant picture to contemplate, and the lover of the old breathes a sigh of regret at the passing of such picturesqueness.[Pg 16]



No type of architecture to-day holds such a distinctive place in the minds of architects and home builders as does that of the colonial period. This is especially true concerning the porch or doorway, for this feature, affording as it does entrance to the home, called for most careful thought, that it might be made harmonious and artistic, and expressive of the sentiment which it embodies. The straight lines and ample dimensions which characterized it required skill to arrange properly, and, considering the limitations of the period in which it was constructed, the results obtained were remarkable.

These porches and doorways were designed at a time when our country was young, and the builders were not finished architects like the designers of to-day; but they were planned and built by men who were masters in their line, and who taxed their skill to the utmost that results might be artistic and varied, individualizing each home so that[Pg 17] the entrance porch should express both hospitality and refinement.

In the holds of the cumbersome ships that plied between the new country and the motherland were placed as cargoes, pillars, columns, and bits of shaped wood, all to be used in the construction of the new home, and incidentally in the porch. It was no easy task to devise from these fragments a complete and artistic whole, and to the ingenuity of the builders great credit is due.

In contour and construction, these porches differ greatly. Those found in New England depict a stateliness that savors of Puritanical influence, while those in the South convey, through their breadth, an impression of the cordiality which is characteristic of that section. Some are semicircular, others square; a few are oblong, and some are three-cornered, fitting into two sides of the entrance, and in each case giving to the dwelling a congruous appearance that is refreshing to contemplate in an age like ours, when so many different periods are combined in a finished whole.

All these porches show a harmony of form and proportion that gives just the right effect, and many are embellished by wonderful wood carving. The Grecian column, in its many forms, lends itself[Pg 18] in a great degree to artistic effects, often bestowing an originality of finish that is most pleasing, and one that differs in every respect from the modern broad veranda, and the stately porte-cochère.

The art of hand carving reached its highest state of perfection about the year 1811, during which period the best types of porches were erected. The results are shown not only in the capitals of the columns and on the architrave, but on the pediments and over the entrance door as well. A good example of the decoration of the architrave is seen on the old Assembly House on Federal Street, in Salem, Massachusetts, where the carving takes the form of a grapevine, with bunches of the hanging fruit, and also over the door of the Kimball house, in the same city, where Samuel McIntyre, one of the most noted wood carvers, lived.

It can be well and correctly said that the colonial porch embodied not only the characteristics of the period in which it was built, but the personality of the owner as well. Should the unobservant person feel that this statement is far-fetched, let him take a stroll through some tree-shaded street of an old New England village, and the truth of the assertion is readily revealed. Though the house[Pg 19] itself may be old and battered, and fast falling into decay, yet the porch greets one with a simple welcome that breathes of former hospitality, and, in admiration of this feature, the shabbiness of the rest of the exterior sinks into oblivion.

Broadly speaking, porches are divided into three types or classes. The first belong to the period beginning with the year 1745 and continuing until the year 1785, a space of time marked by stirring events, culminating in the Revolutionary War, and the birth of the new republic. Houses of this period are of the gambrel-roofed type. The second class adorn the succeeding type of dwelling,—the large, square, colonial house, built by the merchant prince, whose ships circumnavigated the globe, and who filled his home with foreign treasures; while the third type is that which ornamented the brick mansion which came into vogue about 1818. As many of these were erected during the commercial period, they cannot, strictly speaking, be called colonial; they belong rather to the Washingtonian time, and reflect in their construction the gracious hospitality of that day.

Porches of varied colonial types are found in most of the New England cities and towns, in the Middle States, and in the South, and particularly[Pg 20] fine examples can be seen in Salem, Massachusetts. There is about all of these a dignity and refinement that is unmistakable, bespeaking a culture that is felt at once, and a stranger wandering through Salem's streets cannot help but be impressed with the fact.

Adorning the three-storied houses with their flat roofs, they give an artistic touch to what would otherwise be plain exteriors. From step to knocker, from leaded glass to the arched or square roof of the doorway, there is a plainness and simplicity which betokens art, but of such a quiet, unpretentious type that by the untrained eye it is hardly appreciated, though to the architect it brings inspiration and affords study for classic detail, the result of which is shown in the modified colonial homes of to-day.

Romance and history are strangely intermingled in these old-time porches and doorways. Under their stately portals has passed many a colonial lover, doffing his cocked hat to his lady fair, who, with silken gown, powdered hair and patches, sat at the window awaiting his coming. Those were Salem's halcyon days, when the tide of life ebbed and flowed in uneventful harmony, free from the disturbing elements of latter-day life.[Pg 21]

Plate VI.—Gardiner House Doorway, 1804. Plate VI.—Gardiner House Doorway, 1804.

To attempt even a brief description of each and every doorway would be a herculean task. Rather, it is better to depict the different types, studying with critical eye the various examples. One is the semicircular entrance, with its rounded front, a type shown in many a New England home. The Andrew porch, numbered among the finest in the city, belongs to this class. Under this doorway passed the late war governor, John Andrew, during visits to his uncle, John Andrew, builder of the dwelling, that he always coveted for his own. The dwelling was one of three built in 1818 on three sides of a training field, which is now the Common. The fine elm trees that characterize the Common were planted in the same year. The other two houses were the John Forrester dwelling and the Nathaniel Silsbee house. The Andrew porch shows straight columns, and a roof topped with a balustrade; the simplicity of outline renders it most attractive.

Another porch of the same type is that of the John Gardiner house on Essex Street, built in 1804. Here is an entrance considered by good judges of architecture to be one of the best examples of its type, characterized by perfect symmetry of outline. Numbered among its features are quaint[Pg 22] indentations in the door head. This dwelling was formerly the home of Captain Joseph White, one of the worthy and noted Salem merchants. Other porches of similar contour, though differently ornamented, are to be found on Chestnut Street.

It is only when one carefully studies doorways such as these, contrasting them with latter-day porches, which are often little more than holes in the wall, fitted with a cheap framing and entirely out of keeping with the exterior, that their worth is viewed in the true light, and the opportunity to turn to the old-time types for inspiration is appreciated.

Perhaps the most Puritanical of all the doorways are the simple narrow ones that generally stand at one side of the house, although sometimes they are used as the main entrance. These show either fluted side pilasters, or severely plain columns, surmounted by a pediment. The door is always dark in coloring, trimmed with a polished brass knocker and often with a brass latch.

Plate VII.—Nathan Robinson House Doorway, 1804. Plate VII.—Nathan Robinson House Doorway, 1804.

One of the most elaborate of these is that of the dwelling known as the Cabot house on Essex Street. This house was designed in 1745 by an English architect for Joseph Choate, and later came into the possession of Joseph Cabot.

Another notable entrance is that of the Lord[Pg 23] house on Washington Square. This is a side entrance, and is said to be one of the finest of its type in Salem. This house was at one time occupied by Stephen White, a man of worth, who was falsely accused of the murder of his uncle, and who engaged as counsel Daniel Webster. While this case was in progress, Webster brought his son, Fletcher, to the White home, where he met and fell in love with the daughter of the house, later making her his bride. Thus were romance and law strangely intermingled! The house was afterwards the home of Nathaniel Lord, one of the most brilliant jurists of his time.

The inclosed porch is another phase of old Salem doorways. There are several interesting examples of this type still to be seen here, perhaps the most noted being the one on Charter Street, on a three-story, wooden building, about a century and a half old, low of stud, with square front, standing directly on a shabby little by-street, and cornered in a graveyard. This porch, inclosing the entrance door, is lighted by small, oval windows, one on either side, affording glimpses up and down the street. It has been graphically described by a silent, dark-browed man, who, with two women, came to the dwelling in the dusk of an evening[Pg 24] in 1838, and, lifting the old-time knocker, announced his arrival. The door was opened by Elizabeth Peabody, who graciously admitted Nathaniel Hawthorne and his sisters, showed them into the parlor, and then ran up-stairs to tell her sister Sophia of the handsome young man—handsomer than Lord Byron—who had just arrived. As the door closed behind him that evening, Hawthorne shut out forever the dreary solitude of his life, and we read that he came again and again to the old home, where he played the principal part in one of the most idyllic of courtships, ending in his marriage two years later with the fair Sophia. This dwelling he made the scene of Dr. Grimshawe's Secret, and the old porch has taken on a dignity and historic interest that will live forever.

But perhaps one loves to dwell longest on the doorway of the Assembly House on Federal Street, for it is full of vivid memories. It is an oddly shaped porch, beautifully carved, and under its portals the daughters of Salem's merchant princes passed, holding in their slender hands the skirts of their silken gowns, as they gayly mounted the broad stone steps. On the evening of October 29, 1784, Lafayette was entertained in this old[Pg 25] home, and five years later, Washington, who had just been inaugurated as the first President of the United States, came here. Concerning his visit, he wrote in his diary: "Between 7 and 8 I went to an Assembly, where there were at least a hundred handsome young ladies." With one of these, the daughter of General Abbot, Washington opened the ball, and for her later, as he did not dance, he secured as a partner General Knox.

Other types of porches still seen in Salem include the Dutch porch, quaint and comely in its construction, an excellent example of which is seen on the Whipple house on Andover Street, while surrounding the Common on Washington Square are many rare and picturesque porches of various dates of erection.

Considered by experts to excel them all is the porch that adorns the Pierce-Jahonnot house on Federal Street. This dwelling was erected by Mr. Pierce, of Pierce and Waitte, merchants, in the year 1782, and beside the main entrance it boasts a fine example of the narrow doorway at one side. In the early spring, crocuses clustering about the base of the porch add a touch that is decorative and charming, and the box-bordered garden beds, just in front, filled with masses of pure white[Pg 26] bloom, complete a wholly delightful setting. There is about this particular doorway a touch of sentiment felt by every Salemite. It is a piece of architecture of which any one might feel proud, and in its beauty and dignity it stands distinctive in the midst of many fine bits. It is the Mecca of architects, who delight in the exquisite blending of doorway and entrance.

There is a touch of the old Witchcraft Days connected with a doorway at Number 23 Summer Street, that resembles in type the one immortalized by Hawthorne. More than two hundred years ago, this porch was the site of an event that culminated in tragedy. Bridget Bishop, the first victim of the terrible delusion of 1692, kept a tavern here, and in her gay light-heartedness, she scorned the dictates of the church and insisted upon wearing on Sabbath Day a black hat and a red paragon bodice, bordered and looped with different colors. Her boldness in defying the rigid doctrines made the dignitaries suspicious of her, and at her trial, when one witness told of meeting her before the site of the present doorway where his horse stopped, and the buggy he was driving flew to pieces,—she of course having bewitched it,—was condemned to death.[Pg 27]

Individual types found throughout the city show a variety of construction and ornamentation, and many of these are most unique, although they do not belong to any special period. Prominent among these is the Pineapple doorway on Brown Street Court, an excellently proportioned and finely adorned entrance, which, through the remoteness of its location, is rarely seen by tourists. The dwelling of which it is a part was built in 1750 by Captain Thomas Poynton, and this feature, unlike the old Benjamin Pickman porch on Essex Street, which shows a codfish, has nothing about it suggestive of New England. The pineapple, which is set in a broken pediment, was brought over from England in one of the captain's own ships, and in the days of his occupancy it was kept brightly gilded, its leaves painted green.

Many of the doorways show an innovation in the presence of the climbing vine, which winds its tendrils about the pillar supports, emphasizing their beauty. It is not definitely known whether the early owners encouraged the vine-covered porch or not, but they probably did, as they delighted in the vine-covered summer-house, which was a feature of nearly every old-time garden.

While Salem may hold a prominent rank in[Pg 28] attractive porches, many fine examples are to be found in Philadelphia, and though these specimens differ radically in design, they are most attractive. One is to be seen on Independence Hall on Chestnut Street, while others are found on churches and houses.

These doorways illustrate a phase of architectural construction totally different from the porches of New England and those of the South, yet they combine features of the other types, while at the same time displaying a certain definite style of their own which gives to them as great distinctiveness as characterizes Salem porches.

If the twentieth-century architect desires studies of truly attractive doorways, the seaport towns of New England will afford him excellent models. There is enough variety here in porches which are still preserved to give him any number of models from which to devise an entrance that will serve its purpose in every sense of the word.

For the home builder, it will not be amiss to carefully consider the best type of porch before he goes to the architect to develop his plans; he can be assured that study will develop ideas that will give to his home an individuality that will embody his ideas and personality.[Pg 29]



There is no more decorative feature of the entrance door than the old-time door knocker, especially if in conjunction with it are used a latch and hinge. It possesses a dignity and charm that is most attractive, and when shown in brass, brightly burnished, it forms a most effective foil for the dark or polished surface of the wood.

Door knockers have been in use, save for short periods during the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries, since their invention, early in the world's history, although they were most freely used during the Romanesque, the Gothic, and the Renaissance periods. For easy identification they may be divided into three classes, the first characterized by a ring, the second by a hammer, and the third by human figures and animals' heads. The first two types show a much larger surface of plate than the third, and the designs employed are often most elaborate.

Door knockers in use during the Medieval[Pg 30] period were perhaps the most carefully designed, while those of the Renaissance period showed the most fanciful treatment. It must be remembered, when considering the ornamental qualities of both these types of knockers, and comparing them with latter-day productions, that they were made at a time when designers were practically unknown, artists being employed to draw patterns which were worked out by assistants under the supervision of master smiths, which method resulted in a greater diversity of treatment.

Iron was at first used in the construction of knockers, partly on account of its inexpensiveness, and the results secured from this seemingly ugly material were both artistic and beautiful. Later, brass came into favor for the purpose, and it has since remained the principal knocker material, as no better substitute has been found. Brightly polished, a brass knocker undeniably adds to the decorative attractiveness of any door.

During the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, knockers were used on all classes of houses. These for the most part were very elaborate in design, showing a wonderful delicacy of workmanship, and they were in many instances larger than those found on modern colonial homes.[Pg 31]

Except for the period during the seventeenth century, as above mentioned, door knockers remained in favor until the middle of the nineteenth century, when a wave of modernity, sweeping the length and breadth of the land, brought in its wake an overthrow of colonial ideas and furnishings. Modern doors, plain of surface, replaced the finely paneled old-time ones, and with their coming disappeared the knocker and the latch. Probably the principal cause of this was the demolition of many of the old landmarks, and the substitution of dwellings of an entirely different architectural type. This innovation for a second time consigned the knocker to oblivion, and many there were who, not realizing its artistic value, cast it into the scrap heap. Others, with a veneration for heirlooms, packed the knockers away in old hair trunks under the eaves of the spacious attic, together with other antiques of varying character.

No doubt the greatest number were saved by the wise and far-sighted collector, who, realizing the artistic beauty of the knocker, felt that it would in time come to its own again. Quietly he purchased them and stored them away, awaiting the day of their revival, and his foresight was amply repaid when the modified colonial house came into vogue,[Pg 32] demanding that the knocker should again be the doorway's chief feature. Many of those now shown are genuine antiques, while others are reproductions, but so carefully copied that only to one who has made a study of antiques is the difference discernible.

Plate VIII.—16th Century Knocker, Lion type, Striker of
first type; Georgian Urn type, in use on modern house; Mexican Knocker of the Hammer type; Hammer type Knocker, 18th Century, Charles P. Waters House. Plate VIII.—16th Century Knocker, Lion type, Striker of first type; Georgian Urn type, in use on modern house; Mexican Knocker of the Hammer type; Hammer type Knocker, 18th Century, Charles P. Waters House.

Old door knockers vary as to size according to the date of their construction. Many are of odd design, having been made to fit doors of unusual shapes, and the ornamentation is as varied as the shapes. The most elaborate knockers depict such ideas as Medusa's head, Garlands of Roses, and, in many cases, animals' heads, while the simple ones show oval or plain shapes, with border decorated with bead or fretwork.

The shape of the knocker is of great assistance in classification, as is the metal used. The most common type has the striker round or stirrup-shaped. This is either plain or ornamented with twisted forms, with wreathing or masks, and the plate is formed of a rosette or lion's head.

In the second type, the striker is hammer-shaped, the handle often showing a split and straplike formation, while the plate and knob are plain. This is an early type, as is shown from the fact that specimens still exist that are not unlike Byzantine[Pg 33] and Saracenic forms. It is to this type that the exquisite iron-chiseled knockers of Henry II and Louis XIV belong.

The lyre or elongated loop drawn down to form the striker constitute the third style. Masks, snakes, dragons, and human figures belong to this class, and, on account of the elaborate workmanship employed, these are often found in brass and bronze. This type shows ornamentation lavished on the striker, while the plate is very plain.

The greatest difference noted in all these classes is that in the third type the escutcheon or plate by which the knocker is fastened to the door is of little importance, while in the first two types it is the leading motive.

During the Gothic period, the design was diamond-shape, richly decorated with pierced work, and while this same motif was retained in the making of the Renaissance knocker, it was frequently varied by the double-headed or some similar style.

What is correct concerning the design of the Medieval knocker holds good in that of to-day. No door knocker ever designed was ugly, even at the time of the earliest manufacture, when so little was known concerning architectural construction. There is a[Pg 34] fine individuality in the style of all knockers, and singularly enough one fails to find duplicates of even the most admirable specimens. Another fact that seems strange is that reproductions often sell for as much as genuine antiques. It would seem that the price of the old knocker would be high, on account of its historical value, and yet this type of knockers sells at a lower price than present-day specimens. Old brass examples can be purchased as low as two dollars and fifty cents, while large and elaborate ones bring only ten dollars. This is not on account of their true value not being known, but because there is, as yet, comparatively little demand for them; and their sale at the best is limited, for where a person could use twenty candlesticks, two knockers would suffice for door ornamentation.

There is an important phase of the copied specimens that must be taken into consideration, and that is that they have no historic value. This fact has made reproductions of no appeal to either the collector or the antiquarian, unless there is some special interest in the model from which they have been copied.

Whether a knocker is a reproduction or a genuine antique can often be told by examining the plate[Pg 35] and noting if it is forged to the ring or flat plate. If so, it is a fine piece of workmanship and a genuine antique; otherwise, it is spurious.

Plate IX.—Eagle Knocker; Eagle Knocker, Rogers House, Danvers, Mass.; Medusa head, elaborate early type; Garland type of Knocker. Plate IX.—Eagle Knocker; Eagle Knocker, Rogers House, Danvers, Mass.; Medusa head, elaborate early type; Garland type of Knocker.

The best place to purchase genuine old knockers is in the curio shops, where only such things are for sale. Even in this event, it is well to know the earmarks, for if one is anxious for a real antique, he should be posted on the characteristics, as a spurious specimen is apt to find its way even here.

The door knockers in general use to-day are the Georgian urn or vase, the thumb latch, and the eagle. Such designs as Medusa's head, and the head of Daphne with its wreath of laurel leaves are also sometimes found.

The lion with ring has always been more popular in England than in our country, and, indeed, during the Revolutionary War and for fifty years after, it was not even tolerated here, being superseded by the eagle, which came into vogue about 1775.

The garland knocker, which belongs to the early type, is still sometimes found to-day. One such specimen is shown on a modern colonial home at Wayland, Massachusetts. This originally graced the doorway of one of Salem's merchant prince's[Pg 36] homes, but it was purchased by a dealer in antiques at the time of the decline in favor of the knocker, later finding its original resting place, from which it has only recently been removed.

Another rare and unusual knocker is shown on a house on Lynde Street, Salem, Massachusetts. This is of Mexican type, and has been on the house since its erection. It was painted over some years ago by an owner who cared little for its worth, and it was not until a comparatively short time ago that it was discovered to be a fine example of a rare type.

The horseshoe knocker, a specimen of the hammer class, is a prized relic of many old homes. Like all true colonial specimens, it is made of wrought iron, painfully hammered by hand upon the forge in the absence of machinery for working iron, as even nails had to be hammered out in those early times. This is one of the quaintest and most original knockers, and is after the pattern of the earliest designed. Subsequent specimens were more elaborate, colonial craftsmen bestowing upon them their greatest skill. Among the most ornate were the purely Greek or Georgian vases or urns, eagles in all possible and impossible positions, heads of Medusa, Ariadne, and other mythological ladies,[Pg 37] and Italian Renaissance subjects, such as nymphs, mermaids, and dolphins, with ribbons, garlands, and streamers.

Not a few of these knockers have wonderfully interesting histories. Scenes have been enacted about them, which, could they be but known, would make thrilling tales. Take, for instance, the knocker on the Craigie House at Cambridge, Massachusetts. How many men of letters from all over the world have lifted the knocker to gain admittance to our late loved poet's home, and think what stories such visits could furnish!

On the Whittier homestead at Amesbury, Massachusetts, is still to be seen the knocker which was on the door during the poet's life. This is of eagle design, probably chosen on account of its patriotic significance. Another interesting knocker formerly graced the house wherein the "Duchess" lived, on Turner Street, in Salem, many times lifted by Hawthorne, who was a frequent visitor to this dwelling, and who forever immortalized it in his famous romance, The House of Seven Gables. This is now replaced by another of different design.

Considered to be one of the oldest knockers in this section is that on the door of the May house at Newton, Massachusetts. Be that as it may, it is[Pg 38] certainly unique. The plate shows a phœnix rising from the plain brass surface, while the knocker has for ornamentation a Medieval head. This knocker has attracted the attention of antiquarians throughout the country, who have given it much study in attempts to find out the period in which it was made.

Thumb latches are not so common as the hammer and ring class. Two of these specially unique show wonderful cutting. One is found on the front door of the Waters house on Washington Square, Salem, being brought from the John Crowninshield dwelling, while the other is seen on the side porch of this same residence, having been placed there at the time of the building's erection in 1795.

England is the seat of most of the old-time knockers, although they are still found in almost every part of the globe. Threading the narrow by-streets of London, one finds many historic specimens replaced by simple modern affairs. Some have become the prey of avaricious tourists, while others, because of their owners' little regard for their value, have been relegated to ash heaps and thrown away.

This is true of the knocker made famous by Dickens in the Christmas Carol. On the polished[Pg 39] surface of this, Scrooge was said to have thought he saw reflected the face of Marley "like a bad lobster in a dark cellar." Later he spoke of it as follows: "I shall love it as long as I live. I scarcely ever looked at it before. What an honest expression it has in its face. It is a wonderful knocker." Clasped hands holding a ring of laurel is the form of the knocker still seen on the door of the famous Dr. Johnson house, and, as one gazes at it, he can in fancy see David Garrick and Sir Joshua Reynolds ascending the steps, and if he pauses a moment longer he can no doubt even hear the metallic ring of the knocker, as it responds to the vigorous raps that they give.

The most beautiful knocker left in London is the one shown on the outer gate of the Duke of Devonshire's house at Piccadilly. The design here, as unique as it is beautiful, shows an angelic head with flowing hair.

Chapels and cathedrals in England have many examples of this type of door decoration, one being a knocker handle with pierced tracery seen on Stogumber Church in Somerset.

The history of door knockers is practically unwritten, and little is known concerning their make. The revival of antiques is responsible for[Pg 40] their present popularity, and gives them an importance in house ornamentation little dreamed of a few years ago. To be sure, the coming of electric bells has precluded their necessity, but, on account of their ornamental value, it is doubtful if they ever become obsolete. The variety of design, the many artistic shapes to which they can be adapted, and, more than all, their decorative qualities, make them particularly valuable.[Pg 41]



There was a restful charm and dignity surrounding the garden of olden times that is lacking in the formal ones of to-day. This effect was gained partly from the prim box borders and the straight, central path, and partly from the stateliness of the old-fashioned flowers. Gardens formed a distinctive feature in the colonists' home grounds, from the time of their landing on unknown soil. At first they were very small, and consisted mostly of wild flowers and plants that had been brought from their homes in England and Holland. The early settlers brought with them to this new land a deep love for floriculture, and the earliest garden plots filled with flowering plants, though rude in construction, saved the house mother many a heartache, reminding her as they did of the beautiful gardens in the motherland left behind.

We find in the earliest records of the new settlers allusions to flowers, and Reverend Francis Higginson speaks of the wild flowers which he[Pg 42] saw blossoming near the shore. He considered them of enough importance to record in his diary on June 24, 1629, writing "that wild flowers of yellow coloring resembling Gilliflowers were seen near the shore as they sighted land, and that as they came closer they saw many of these flowers scattered here and there, some of the plots being from nine to ten feet in size."

Four of the men who went ashore on the twenty-seventh of that month found on the headlands of Cape Cod single wild roses. Later on he tells again of the number of plants found growing, giving their names. These facts have enabled people in later years to locate the same flowers growing near the same places as when they were first discovered.

Governor Bradford also considered the flowers of importance, and in his historical account of the Colonies of New England, he tells us that "here grow many fine flowers, among them the fair lily and the fragrant rose."

On Governors Island in Boston Harbor were rich vineyards and orchards, as well as many varieties of flowers. Governor Winthrop, inserting a clause in the grant, said that vineyards and orchards should be planted here; that this was complied[Pg 43] with is shown from the fact that the rent in 1634 was paid with a hogshead of wine.

Following the growth of colonist gardens, we find that John Josslyn arrived in Boston four years later, in 1638, and that soon after his arrival he visited his brother's plantation in Black Point, Maine. He made a careful list of plants that he found here, each one of which he carefully described and sent in part to England, and it is interesting to note that in those days, the colonists in the spring gathered hepaticas, bloodroot, and numerous other wild flowers.

His description of the pitcher plant is graphic: "Hollow leaved lavender is a plant that grows in the marshes, overgrown with moss, with one straight stalk about the bigness of an oat straw. It is better than a cubic high, and upon the top is found one single fantastic flower. The leaves grow close to the root in shape like a tankard, hollow, tight, and always full of water." The whole plant, so he says, comes into perfection about the middle of August, and has leaves and stalks as red as blood, while the flower is yellow.

Mr. Josslyn also speaks of the fact that shrubs and flowers brought from England and Holland by the Puritans as early as 1626 were the nucleus of[Pg 44] old-fashioned gardens, and that woadwaxen, now a pest covering acres of ground and showing during the time of blossoming a brilliant yellow, was kept in pots by Governor Endicott, while the oxeye daisy and whiteweed were grown on Governor Endicott's Danvers farm.

He also tells us of the gardens with "their pleasant, familiar flowers, lavender, hollyhocks, and satin." "We call this herbe in Norfolke sattin," says Gerard, "and among our women, it is called honestie and gillyflowers, which meant pinks as well, and dear English roses and eglantine."

The evolution of the garden commenced at this time, and from then until fifty years ago the old-fashioned garden was in vogue. There was much sameness to this kind of garden; each one had its central path of varying width, generally with a box border on either side, while inside were sweet-smelling flowers, such as mignonette, heliotrope, and sweet alyssum. Vine-covered arbors were the central feature, and at the end of the walk stood a summer-house of simple proportions, sometimes so covered with trailing vines as to be almost unseen.

It was here on summer afternoons that our grandmothers loved to come for a social cup of tea,[Pg 45] knitting while breathing in the sweet-scented air, permeated with the fragrance of single and double peonies, phlox, roses, and bushes of syringa. Tall hollyhocks swayed in the breeze, holding their stately cups stiff and upright, and there were tiger lilies, as well as the dielytra, with its row of hanging pink and white blossoms, from which the children made boats, rabbits, and other fantastic figures.

In some of the old-time gardens, the small, thorny Scotch roses intermingled with the red and white roses of York and Lancaster. Little wonder that the perfume of their blooms was wafted through the air, although they were hidden among the taller roses, and there was no visible trace of their presence.

One walked along the broad sidewalks of the old-time cities, expecting to find at every turn a garden of flowers. Not even a glimpse did they obtain, for the gardens of those days were not in view, but hidden away behind high board fences which have now in many cases been changed for iron ones, thus giving to the public glimpses of the central arbor and the long line of path with brilliant bloom on either side.

One reason that the gardens in the olden days[Pg 46] were hidden from view was that the houses, more especially the Salem ones, were built close to the sidewalk, and there was no chance for flowers in front or at either side.

Plate X.—Whittier Garden, Danvers, Mass. Plate X.—Whittier Garden, Danvers, Mass.

Most of the noted old gardens have long since become things of the past, but a few are still left to give hints of the many that long ago were the pride of New England housewives. The estate of the late Captain Joseph Peabody at Danvers, Massachusetts, was at one time famed for its old-fashioned garden. This lay to the right of the avenue of trees that formed the driveway to the house. These trees were planted in 1816 by Joseph Augustus Peabody, the elder son of the owner. The garden proper was hidden from view, as one passed up the driveway, but lay at the front of the house. In its center was a large tulip tree, which still stands, said to be one of the oldest and largest in the country. One of the unique features of the grounds, and one that has existed since the days of Captain Peabody's occupancy, is a small summer-house, showing lattice work and graceful arches. Its top is dome-shaped, surmounted by a gilded pineapple.

There is, however, another historic summer-house on this estate. It was formerly on the[Pg 47] Elias Hasket Derby property, and was built about 1790. This was purchased by the present owner of the estate, who had it moved to her grounds, a distance of four miles, without a crack in the plaster. It was built by Samuel McIntyre, and is decorated with the pilaster and festoons that are characteristic of his workmanship. Four urns and a farmer whetting his scythe adorn the top. Originally a companion piece was at the other end, representing a milkmaid with her pail. This latter figure was long ago sold by the former owner and placed with a spindle in its hand on the Sutton Mills at Andover, Massachusetts, where it stood for many years until destroyed by fire. The house itself contains a tool room on the lower floor, while at the head of the staircase is a large room, sixteen feet square, containing eight windows and four cupboards. It is hung with Japanese lanterns, and the closets are filled with wonderful old china. Its setting of flowers is most appropriate.

At Oak Knoll in Danvers is still left the garden that the poet Whittier so much loved. It stands at the side of the house, bordering the avenue that leads from the entrance gate. The paths have box borders, and inside is a wealth of bloom, the[Pg 48] central feature being a fountain which was a gift from Whittier to the mistress of the home. It was here he loved to come during the warm summer afternoons to pace up and down, doubtless thinking over and shaping many of his most noted poems. The garden has been carefully tended, and it shows to-day the same flowers that were in their prime during his life.

Plate XI.—Peabody Garden, Danvers, Mass. Plate XI.—Peabody Garden, Danvers, Mass.

Another fine example of a box-bordered, old-time garden is seen at Newburyport, Massachusetts, on the estate of Mrs. Charles Perry. Here the colonial house stands back from the main road, with a long stretch of lawn at the front. Passing out of the door at the rear, one comes upon a courtyard with moss-grown flagging that leads directly to the garden itself, fragrant with the incense of old-time blooms.

At Indian Hill, the summer home of the late Major Benjamin Perley Poore at West Newbury, much care has been given to the gardens to keep the flowers as they were in the olden days. A feature of this estate, in addition to the gardens, is a shapely grove of trees at the rear of the mansion, that took first prize years ago as being the finest and best-shaped specimens in the county. Many of these trees were named for the major's[Pg 49] friends, and they bear names well known to New Englanders.

More than a century ago, when Salem was the trade center of the world, her gardens were renowned. These gardens were at the rear of the dwellings, and it was here that the host and his guests came for their after-dinner smoke, surrounded by the flowers that they loved.

The first improvements in garden culture were made by one George Heussler, who, according to Captain Jonathan P. Felt, came to America in 1780, bringing with him a diploma given him by his former employers. Previous to this period he had served an apprenticeship in the gardens of several German princes, as well as in that of the king of Holland, and was, in consequence, well qualified for the work. The first experience he had in America in gardening was at the home of John Tracy in Newburyport, where he worked faithfully for several years. Ten years afterwards he came to Salem to take charge of the farm and garden of Elias Hasket Derby, Senior, at Danvers, and later worked in other gardens in the city of Salem, where he lived until his death in 1817.

From the records we glean that on October 21, 1796, Mr. Heussler gave notice that he had choice[Pg 50] fruit trees for sale at Mr. Derby's farm, while a newspaper of that date informs us that the latter gentleman had recently imported valuable trees from India and Africa and that he had "an extensive nursery of useful plants in the neighborhood of his rich garden." His son, E. Hersey Derby, had a garden of great dimensions at his estate in South Salem, or, as it was then called, South Fields. This was in 1802, and for a long time the fame of this rare and beautiful garden was retained.

Both of the Derby gardens were worthy of attention, and it is said by those in authority that in the Derby greenhouse the first night-blooming cereus blossomed. This was in 1790, and the flower was the true cereus grande flora, not the flat-leaved cactus kind that is now cultivated under that name. It was largely the influence of the beautiful Derby gardens that gave to Salem its impetus for fine garden culture.

Who knows how many romances have been enacted in the old-fashioned gardens of long ago! They were fascinating places for lovers to wander and in their vine-clad summer-houses many a love-tale was told. The sight of an old-time garden recalls to-day the early owners, and in imagination one can hear the swish of silken[Pg 51] skirts as the mistress of the home saunters down the central path to take tea with friends in her beloved arbor. There were warm friendships among neighbors in those days, and the summer season was marked by a daily interchange of visits; and so the old-time garden is fraught with memories of bygone festivities and perchance of gossip.

After the close of commerce, the Derby Street houses, formerly occupied by the old merchants, gradually became deserted, and new houses were sought in different parts of the town, farther removed from shipping interests. Chestnut Street was the location of many of these new homes, and here the beautiful old-fashioned gardens were shown at their best. These were usually inclosed, and were reached by a side door, opening directly into a veritable wealth of bloom.

Among the extensive gardens cultivated here was a smaller one containing a greenhouse. This was owned by John Fiske Allen. Mr. Allen was an ardent lover of flowers, and was always interested in adding some new and rare specimen to his collection. From Caleb Ropes in Philadelphia he purchased seed of the Victoria Regia, the water lily of the Amazon. These plants blossomed for the second time in our country on[Pg 52] July 28, 1833, the grounds being thronged with visitors during the time of their blossoming. This fact was called to the attention of William Sharp, who had illustrations made for a book on the subject. The following year an extension was made to the greenhouse, and more seed was planted, which had come from England, and, in addition, orchids and other plants were grown.

The Humphrey Devereux house stands almost directly across the street from the Allen house. This garden, under the care of the next owner, Captain Charles Hoffman, became famous, for here the first camellias and azaleas in this country were planted. One of the former plants is still seen in a greenhouse in Salem. Captain Hoffman had a well-trained gardener, named Wilson, whose care gave this garden a distinctive name in the city. This garden is now the property of Dr. James E. Simpson, and it shows like no other the direct influence of olden times. There is the same vine-clad arbor for the central figure, and the plants which are grown behind box borders are the same that grew in our grandmothers' time. This scheme has been carefully carried out by the mistress of the house, who is passionately fond of the old-time blossoms.[Pg 53]

In the garden of the Cabot house on Essex Street, the first owner of the house imported tulips from Holland, and, during the time of their blossoming, threw open the garden to friends. The later owners improved the garden by adding rare specimens of peonies and other plants, and have kept the same effects, adding to the gardens' beauty each year.

While the old-fashioned garden has gone into decline, yet the modern-day enthusiast has brought into his formal gardens the flowers of yesterday. The artistic possibilities of these have appealed so strongly to the flower lover that they have been restored to their own once more. The box border is practically a thing of the past, having been replaced by flower borders of mignonette and sweet alyssum, which afford a fine setting for the beds. Like pictures seem these old-fashioned gardens, framed with thoughts of days long gone by, and one unconsciously sighs for those days that are gone, taking with them the sweet odor of the flowers that grew in our grandmothers' time.[Pg 54]



The colonial hall as we have come to think of it—dignified and spacious, with characteristics of unrivaled beauty—was not the type in vogue in the first years of the country's settlement, but rather was the outgrowth of inherent tendencies, reflecting in a measure the breadth and attractiveness of the English hallway.

The earliest dwellings were built for comfort, with little regard for effect, and they showed no hallways, only a rude entrance door giving directly upon the general and often only apartment. Sometimes this door was sheltered on the outside by a quaint closed porch, which afforded additional warmth and protection from the driving storms of rain or snow; but it was never anything more than a mere comfort-seeking appendage, boasting no pretentions whatever to architectural merit. Crude, indeed, such entrances must have seemed to the stern Puritan dwellers, in comparison with[Pg 55] those of their ancestral abodes; and it is not to be wondered at if in secret they sometimes longed for the hallways of their boyhood, where, after the evening meal in the winter season, the family was wont to gather about the roaring fire, perchance to listen to some tale of thrilling adventure.

Plate XII.—Saltonstall Hallway, about 1800. Plate XII.—Saltonstall Hallway, about 1800.

The first American hall came in with the building of the frame house, erected after the early hardships were over, and the colonists could afford to abandon their rude cabin domiciles. This was really little more than an entry, rarely characterized by any unusual features, but it served as a sort of introduction to the home proper, and was dignified by the title of hallway. The hall in the old Capen house at Topsfield, Massachusetts, belongs to this type.

Later came the more pretentious hall, typical of the gambrel roof house, that enjoyed so long a period of popularity. This was generally a narrow passage, with doors opening at either side into the main front apartments, and with the staircase at the end rising in a series of turns to the rooms above. The first turn often contained in one corner a small table, which held a candlestick and candle used to light a guest to bed, or a grandfather's clock, the dark wood of[Pg 56] its casing serving as an effective contrast to the otherwise light finish of the apartment.

Not infrequently the hall was solidly paneled, and a built-in cupboard or like device was sometimes concealed behind the paneling; or, as in a dwelling in Manchester, Massachusetts, it contained an innovation in the form of a broad space opened between two high beams, halfway up the staircase, arranged, no doubt, for the display of some choice possession, and showing beneath a motto of religious import.

In the better class of houses of this period, the hallway sometimes extended the width of the dwelling, opening at the rear on to the yard space. This type was the forerunner of the stately attractive hall that came into vogue in the last half of the eighteenth century, and continued in favor during the first years of the nineteenth century, with the advent of the wooden and brick mansion.

Plate XIII.—Hallway, Lee House, 1800. Plate XIII.—Hallway, Lee House, 1800.

Belonging to the earlier class are the Warner and Stark halls in New Hampshire. The former is paneled from floor to ceiling, the white of the finish now mellowed to ivory tones, and serving to display to advantage the fine furnishings with which it is equipped. At the rear it opens upon a grassy yard space, shaded by tall trees, thought[Pg 57] to be the site of the old slave quarters, long since demolished. The walls show several adornments, among the most interesting being the enormous antlers of an elk, which, tradition tells, were presented to the builder of the dwelling by some of the Indians with whom he traded, as an evidence of their friendship and good will. The latter hall is of similar type, entered through a narrow door space and continuing the width of the dwelling; it ends at the rear in a quaint old door that shows above its broad wooden panels a row of green bull's eyes, specimens of early American glass manufacture, still rough on the inside where detached from the molding bar. This door gives upon an old-time garden plot, fragrant with the blooms of its original planting, and preserving intact its early features. Rare bits of old furniture are used in the equipment of this hall, and the paneled walls are hung with family portraits.

When unwearied toil had made living considerably easier, and many of the merchants had amassed fortunes, there sprang up, in both the North and the South, those charming colonial mansions that were the fit abode of a brave race. They demanded hallways of spacious dimensions, and into favor then came the broad and lofty[Pg 58] hall, embodying in its construction the highest development of the colonial type. Quite through the center of the house this hall extended, from the pillared portico and stately entrance door, with its fan lights and brazen knocker, to another door at the rear, through the glazed upper panels of which tantalizing glimpses could be obtained of tall hollyhocks and climbing roses growing in the old-fashioned garden just without.

Plate XIV.—Hallway, Tucker House, about 1800. Plate XIV.—Hallway, Tucker House, about 1800.

In a measure this hall was a reproduction of the English type, particularly in its spaciousness of dimension. Unlike this type, however, it lacked the dominant influence of the fireplace, and in its construction it showed several independent features, all tending to emphasize the attractive dignity suggested in the broadness of outline. Often an elliptical arch spanned the width at about one third the length, generally serving to frame the staircase, and tending to make dominant the attractiveness of this feature. This was usually little more than a skeleton arch, being a suggestion, rather than a reality, sometimes plain, and sometimes slightly ornamental. This feature is shown in the Lee hall at Salem, and in the main hall of the old Governor Wentworth house at Little Harbor, New Hampshire. This latter hall[Pg 59] is particularly interesting, not only for its beauty of construction, but also for its historic associations. Under its arch, framing the fine old staircase, men prominent in the history of the State and country have passed, and on the walls and over the door are still seen stacks of arms, thirteen in number, the muskets of the governor's guard, so long dismissed.

The most important feature of all these halls was the staircase, and in its construction the greatest interest was centered. Generally it ascended by broad, low treads to a landing lighted by a window of artistic design, and continued in a shorter flight to the second floor apartments. It was always located at one side, and generally near the rear, to allow the placing of furniture without crowding. The balusters were usually beautifully carved and hand turned, with newel posts of graceful design; and sometimes even the risers showed carved effects. The cap rail was usually of mahogany. Hard wood was sometimes used in the construction of the staircase, the treads in this event being dark and polished, while soft wood painted white was also much used.

Plate XV.—Hallway, Wentworth House, 1750. Plate XV.—Hallway, Wentworth House, 1750.

The finish of the walls in this type of hall varied. Some were entirely paneled, others showed a[Pg 60] quaint landscape paper above a low white wainscot, and still others showed hangings of pictorial import, framed like great pictures. To the last-named class belongs the Lee hall at Marblehead, considered to be one of the finest examples of its type extant. Black walnut is the wood finish here, and the hangings, designed by a London artist, are in soft tones of gray, beautifully blended, and represent scenes of ruined Greece, each set in a separate panel, handsomely carved.

Occasionally, to-day, a staircase of the spiral type is found,—a type that possesses certain satisfying characteristics, but which never enjoyed the popularity of the straight staircase. Some few of the staircases in the old Derby Street mansions at Salem are of this type, as is the staircase at Oak Knoll, in Danvers, the poet Whittier's last residence. The common name for this type of staircase was winder.

A large number of representatives of the finest type of the colonial hall are scattered throughout the North and South, and their sturdiness of construction bids fair to make them valued examples indefinitely. One particularly good example is shown at Hey Bonnie Hall, in Bristol, Rhode Island, a mansion built on Southern lines, and[Pg 61] suggesting in its construction the hospitality of that section. Here the hall is twenty feet wide; the walls are tinted their original coloring, a soft rich green, that harmonizes perfectly with the white woodwork and the deep, mellow tones of the priceless old mahogany of the furnishings. A well-designed, groined arch forming a portion of the ceiling, and supported at the corners by four slender white pillars, is one of the apartment's attractive adjuncts, while the dominant feature is the staircase that rises at the farther end, five feet in width, with treads of solid mahogany and simple but substantial balusters of the same wood on either side. The upper hall is as distinctive as the lower one, and exactly corresponds in length and width. Wonderful old furnishings are placed here, and at one end is displayed a fine bit of architectural work in a fanlight window, overlooking the garden.

One wonders, when viewing such a hall as this, how this type could ever have been superseded in house construction, but with the gradual decline in favor of the colonial type of dwelling, it was abolished, and in place of its lofty build and attractive spaciousness, halls of cramped dimensions came into vogue, culminating in the entry[Pg 62] passage typical of houses built toward the middle of the nineteenth century. Happily, present-day house builders are coming to a realizing sense of the importance of the hallway, and are beginning to appreciate the fact that, to be attractive, the hall must be ample, well lighted, and of pleasing character. With this realization the beauty of the colonial hall has again demanded attention, and in a large number of modern homes it has been copied in a modified degree.[Pg 63]



It is a far cry from the fireplaces of early times to those of the present, when elaborate fittings make them architecturally notable. We read that in the Middle Ages, the fire in the banquet hall was laid on the floor in the center of the large apartment, the smoke from the blazing logs, as it curled slowly upward, escaping through a hole cut in the ceiling. Later, during the Renaissance period, the fire was laid close to the wall, the space set apart for it framed with masonry jambs that supported a mantel shelf. A projecting hood of stone or brick carried the smoke away, and the jambs were useful, inasmuch as they protected the fire from draughts. From this time, the evolution of the fireplace might be said to date, improvement in its arrangement being worked out gradually, until to-day it is numbered among the home's most attractive features. It is interesting to note, in reference to these latter-day specimens, that many of them are similar in design[Pg 64] to those of the Renaissance, Louis Sixteenth, and colonial periods.

Not a few of the early fireplaces were of the inglenook type, a fad that has been revived and is much in evidence in modern dwellings; and many of them followed certain periods, such as the Queen Anne style and the Elizabethan design. Several, too, were topped with mantels, features practical as well as ornamental, which are almost always associated with the fireplaces of to-day. Many of the old mantels were very narrow, prohibiting ornamentation with pottery or small bits of bric-a-brac; they were so built, because the designers of early times considered them sufficiently decorative in themselves without any additional embellishment, and their sturdiness and architectural regularity seem to justify this opinion. Mantels and fireplaces of early Renaissance type show in detail an elegance that is characteristic of all the work of that period, the Italian designers being masters in their line.

In the baronial halls of Merrie England, we find huge fireplaces, wide enough to hold the Yule log, around which, after the chase, the followers gathered to drink deep of the wassail bowl. Such pictures must have lingered long in the minds of[Pg 65] the colonists in their new surroundings, and to us they are suggestive of the Squire in "Old Christmas," who, seated in his great armchair, close by the fire, contentedly smoked his pipe and gazed into the heart of the flickering flames, filled with the joy of his ancestral possessions.

Plate XVI.—Historic Fireplace at Ipswich, Mass. Plate XVI.—Historic Fireplace at Ipswich, Mass.

Life with the early colonists was a stern reality. The climate here was far more rigorous than that of the motherland, and a home and a warm fire were the two necessities first demanded. Logs from the near-by forest afforded the former, while rocks taken from the clearings supplied the latter. The fireplaces of those days were perhaps the largest ever built in any land, some ten feet or more in depth, and broad enough to hold the logs which were stacked just outside the cabin door. The rude stones which formed the fireplace were piled wall fashion, the largest at the bottom and the smallest on top, the chinks between made strong by daubings of clay. Later, the builders gave a more finished effect to this feature, and the hearths were then extended many feet into the single large apartment, while on either side were placed rude, home-made benches with high backs, to shield the inmates from the cold felt outside the circle of the fire's warmth.[Pg 66]

Plate XVII.—Old Fireplace in Wentworth House, Portsmouth, N. H. Plate XVII.—Old Fireplace in Wentworth House, Portsmouth, N. H.

At the rear of the fireplace was arranged a huge backlog, to afford protection to the stones, and also to throw the heat into the room. This was often of unseasoned timber, that it might last the longer, two feet in diameter, and eight feet or more in length. Firedogs were used to hold the smaller logs, while creepers were employed for the smallest of all, and to start the fire, small pine boughs and small timbers were heaped high, flint and tinder serving to ignite them. Once started, the fire was kept indefinitely, being carefully covered at night or piled with peat; above the blaze swung the soot-blackened crane, with its various pots and kettles. Such was the early colonial kitchen, the fireplace its dominant feature, the light from its glowing logs throwing into relief the sanded floor, bare, unplastered walls, and the rafters overhead. With the coming of prosperity, these rude log huts gave way to timber houses, two stories in height, and with their advent the better type of colonial fireplaces came into vogue.

Plate XVIII.—First Hob Grate in New England, Waters House; Mantel Glass and Fireplace, showing decoration of floral basket. Plate XVIII.—First Hob Grate in New England, Waters House; Mantel Glass and Fireplace, showing decoration of floral basket.

Dating as far back as the earliest fireplaces are found fire sets, as they were sometimes called, comprising the hearth accessories necessary for an open fire. The oldest of these sets, which were in use long before coal was burned as fuel, consisted usually[Pg 67] of a pair of andirons, a long-handled fire shovel, and a pair of tongs. In some cases more than one set of andirons was included, for in the great, cavernous fireplaces of the colonists' log cabins, the high supports used for the heavy forestick and logs were not suitable for the smaller wood, and creepers had to be set between the large andirons to hold the short sticks in place. Bellows were often found beside the fireplace in those times, but the poker was rarely if ever included in fire sets, previous to the introduction of coal as a fuel.

In material and design these fire sets, particularly the andirons, differed widely. Iron, steel, copper, and brass were the metals most commonly used for their construction, although in other countries even silver was occasionally made into fire irons. As for design, they ranged from the very simplest and most unpretentious styles up through the quaint dogs' heads to the grotesque figures and elaborately wrought pieces to be found among good collections of antique hearth accessories.

Andirons for kitchen use were as a rule very plain and substantial. Sometimes they were merely straight pieces supported by short legs and having uprights of either plain or twisted metal, topped by small knots of some sort. They were probably[Pg 68] most commonly made of iron, and not a few were rudely hammered and shaped on the pioneer blacksmith's anvil. It is consequently little to be wondered at that many of the andirons once used in colonial kitchens give one the impression of having been designed for strength and utility rather than for ornament.

The better class of andirons in use during the seventeenth and early part of the eighteenth centuries were for the most part of graceful, but, at the same time, simple and dignified designs. The finest ones were of brass, which was kept brightly polished by the energetic housekeeper. Short knobs or uprights were often placed a few inches back of the main uprights and served the double purpose of holding the forestick in place and of protecting the shining brass. Occasionally andirons were made in rights and lefts with the shanks curving outward from the short knobs where they joined the straight, horizontal supports.

Plate XIX.—Middleton House Steeple Top Andirons, and Bellows; Southern Andirons, Atkinson Collection. Plate XIX.—Middleton House Steeple Top Andirons, and Bellows; Southern Andirons, Atkinson Collection.

Among other popular andiron designs of this period were the twisted flame, the urn topped, the queer iron and brass dogs with claw feet, the colonial baluster, and the steeple topped. Of these, the steeple-topped andirons were perhaps the rarest, while the colonial baluster pattern with[Pg 69] ball tops was, without doubt, the most popular and commonly used.

A good example of the style of andirons which came into favor during the latter half of the eighteenth century is found in the Hessian design. They take their name from the fact that the upright of each iron is cast in the form of a Hessian soldier, posed as if in the act of marching. Since this particular pattern first made its appearance immediately after the close of the American Revolution, it is not difficult to comprehend its significance, for it is a well-known fact that the patriotic colonists heartily hated the hired allies in the employ of King George of England who had fought against them. This humbling of the Hessian to service among the flames and ashes, although only in effigy, seemed to afford the Americans a great deal of satisfaction, if the great popularity of these andirons stood for anything.

Probably no finer collection of colonial hearths is to be found anywhere than in Salem. The Derby Street mansions even now show wonderful bits of the skill which has made Salem a name synonymous of the best in the architectural world. McIntyre designed many of these, following in some cases the style of the decorator, Adams. Many of the mantels[Pg 70] show a wonderful harmony of contour, capped by a simple shelf, for the most part unadorned. One such is seen in the Gove house on Lynde Street, its straight, simple lines affording dignity and grace that are most attractive. The decoration is the head of Washington, fixing the period of its construction about the time of the Revolution.

Other popular decorations were the eagle, which came into favor at the same period as the Washington decoration, baskets of flowers, wonderfully delicate in their carving, garlands, and many such designs, in all of which McIntyre shows a versatility that, considering the limitations of his day, is truly remarkable.

While many of the mantels were of wood, some few were of marble. Two such of special interest are to be found, one in the Thomas Sanders's house on Chestnut Street, and the other in Hon. David M. Little's residence on the same thoroughfare. The former shows an exquisite design, supported on either side by caryatids, gracefully carved; and the latter, of the same period, is practically of the same design. A third marble mantel is found in the home of the Salem Club, formerly the residence of Captain Joseph Peabody. This mantel is of Florentine marble and was imported by the captain[Pg 71] in 1819. It is particularly beautiful in its finish, and has served as an inspiration for many similar mantels to be found in New England.

Belonging to the early type is the quaint fireplace found in the hallway of the Robinson house on Chestnut Street. This apartment was formerly the kitchen, and the fireplace in its original condition was discovered in the process of remodeling. Upon investigation, it was found to be a composite of three separate fireplaces, built one within the other, and culminating outwardly in a small grate; and when opened, it showed portions of the old pothooks. It was restored to its original aspect, appearing to-day as it was first constructed, its narrow mantel adorned with rare bits of pewter.

In what was formerly the home of Mrs. Nathaniel B. Mansfield in Salem, is a curious mantel, which was first owned by Mr. Fabens. It is one of the rarest bits of McIntyre's work, decorated with his best wrought and finest planned carving. Another fine mantel is in the home of Hon. George von L. Meyer at Hamilton, Massachusetts. This is as historic as it is beautiful, and was part of the original equipment of the Crowninshield house in Boston.

Many of the later style fireplaces, more especially of the better class, showed firebacks. These were[Pg 72] of iron, and were designed to keep the back of the fireplace from cracking. Some of these old firebacks had flowers for ornamentation, while others showed decoration in the form of family coats-of-arms. In the Pickering house on Broad Street, Salem, is a quaint fireback which was made in the first iron foundry at Saugus, now Lynn. This has on the back the initials of the then owners of the dwelling, John and Alice Pickering, inscribed as follows, "J. A. P. 1660." This same Alice Pickering was very fond of dress, and an old record of 1650 tells that she wore to church a silken hood. For this offense she was reprimanded and brought before the church, but was allowed to go when it was learned that she was worth two hundred pounds.

By the beginning of the eighteenth century, fireplaces had come to be considered of great decorative importance, and in an account written in 1750 Isaac Ware says of them: "With us no article in a well-furnished room is more essential. The eye immediately falls upon it on entering the room, and the place for sitting down is naturally near it. By this means it becomes the most prominent thing in the furnishing of the room."

The popularity of the fireplace was somewhat checked in 1745 through the invention of the[Pg 73] Franklin stove, which immediately came into favor. These stoves were constructed of iron, with trimmings of rosettes and railing and knobs of varying size; in appearance they were very similar to the small, open fireplace with andirons for burning logs. As heat producers, however, they were a decided improvement over the old-time hearth, which in many cases smoked abominably, and sent much of the heat up the chimney instead of into the room. The new stoves proved economical, and there was but little waste of heat through the pipes connecting them with the chimneys.

In the dining room of Harriet Prescott Spofford's house at Newburyport is one of these stoves, before which Whittier delighted to sit during his frequent visits to this old home. It is a fine specimen of its kind, and as interesting in its way as the quaint room which it graces. For many years this dwelling served as an inn, kept by one Ebenezer Pearson, being one of the favorite resorts for pleasure parties, and in the old-time dining room much brilliant parrying of wit took place, as distinguished visitors amiably chatted over their teacups.

Later in the eighteenth century, another form of heating came into vogue. This was the fire frame, which appeared about thirty years after the invention[Pg 74] of the Franklin stove, and in type was something of a compromise between the open fireplace and the stove, possessing certain characteristics of each. It was so arranged that it could be used in a fireplace that had either been filled in with brick, or finished with a fireboard, and in appearance was very similar to the upper part of a Franklin stove. Unlike the stove, however, it rested directly upon the fireplace hearth, instead of being raised from the floor.

When coal first came into use, a Salem man saw it burn, and so impressed was he with its worth that he told Dr. George Perkins of Lynde Street about it. The doctor immediately ordered a barrel of the fuel to be brought down in a baggage wagon from Boston, and he also ordered a new-fangled stove of the hob grate order. The trial took place in the living-room of his home, and the neighbors gathered to watch it burn. So great was the success of the venture that a load of coal was ordered, and it landed at the North River wharf, where the water was then so deep that vessels could easily come to pier there. The cargo consisted of from one hundred and sixty to one hundred and seventy tons, considered an enormous load at the time.

The first coal burned in a stove was in Wilkes-barre,[Pg 75] Pennsylvania, where Judge Jesse Fell, in the main room of the old tavern, in February, 1808, started the first coal fire. Previous to that time coal had been burned in open forges, under a heavy draught, by a few blacksmiths, but it had never been adapted for household purposes, and the discovery that it could be used changed it from a useless thing to something of great value.

In 1812 Colonel George Shoemaker discovered coal in the Susquehanna Valley, and he took twelve tons of it to Philadelphia to sell. He disposed of two tons, but was compelled to give the rest away, as people considered him a fraud, proving that the use of coal was not general at this period.

The hob grate came into use in 1750, a few years after the advent of the Franklin stove, and it proved especially valuable for the burning of coal, when that product became popular. At first it was known as "Cat Stone," but later was called hob grate, by which name it is known at the present time.

Fenders of brass or iron were generally used with these grates, a small one placed close to the fire to prevent the ashes from falling over the hearth, and a larger one arranged around the entire fireplace. Although hob grates were popular in Northern[Pg 76] houses, they were much more frequently used in the South.

Tiles were little used in America until the hob grate era, when they seem to have come into vogue. They were used to surround both hob grates and Franklin stoves. Some of them showed decorations of religious subjects, while others, like a set in a Salem house, told in pictures the story of Æsop's Fables. There is a tiled fireplace still in existence in the Saltonstall-Howe house at Haverhill, Massachusetts, a dwelling originally owned by Dr. Saltonstall, the first medical practitioner in the city. This fireplace, in the dining-room, shows a double row of tiles, depicting a series of Scriptural events, and it is equipped with a fender of ancient hammered brass, a family heirloom. The date of the fireplace can be definitely determined without knowledge of the time of the erection of the house from the fact of the absence of a mantel above. Another similar fireplace adorned with quaint Dutch tiles is shown in the Pickering house living-room. Like the Saltonstall one, this fireplace has a beautiful, ancient fender of brass and a pair of bellows that were made by Rev. Theophilus Pickering, a preacher in Essex, Massachusetts, who succeeded the Rev. John Wise.[Pg 77]

The first hob grate ever placed in a Salem home is to be seen in the Waters house on Washington Square. It is topped with one of McIntyre's famous mantels, showing that the original fireplace was brought down to be used with the grate.

Elias Hasket Derby, one of Salem's most famous merchants, had a beautiful estate where Market Square now stands. The house, which was a marvel of elegance, stood in the center of the square, surrounded with terraced gardens that swept to the water's edge. After his death the house was too large and elegant to be kept up, and it was torn down and the land sold. The timbers of the house, the wood carving, and mantels were purchased by Salem house owners, one hob grate finding its way to the old Henry K. Oliver house on Federal Street. This dwelling, which was built in 1802 by Captain Samuel Cook for his daughter, who married Mr. Oliver, shows old-time fireplaces in many rooms, one of brass being found in the parlor. This was the first of its kind ever placed in a Salem home, and it has a grate, on either side of which are brass pillars about three feet in height, with brass balls on top. A brass band extends from pillar to pillar below the grate, and the fender is also of brass. The mantel above is[Pg 78] elegantly carved, and came from the Elias Hasket Derby mansion.

A soapstone fireplace with grate is shown in the General Stephen Abbot house on Federal Street, where General Abbot, who served under Washington, entertained the latter during his visit to Salem. Behind this fireplace is a secret closet, large enough to conceal three men, where, during troublous times, slaves were hidden.

With the advent of the furnace, many beautiful fireplaces were closed up, or taken away to be replaced by modern ones that lacked in every respect the dignity and grace of the colonial specimens. Happily this state of affairs was of short duration, and to-day the fireplace in all its original charm is a feature of many homes. To be sure, it is now a luxury rather than a necessity, but it is a luxury that is enjoyed not only by the wealthy classes, but by those in moderate circumstances as well, who appreciate the great decorative advantages of this feature. Surely there is nothing more homelike than the warm glow of blazing logs, and it is a delight to sit before the sputtering flames, and enjoy the warmth and glow, as did our ancestors in the long ago.[Pg 79]



The records of many old-time features are scanty in detail, and, in consequence, their meaning is differently and often wrongly interpreted. Even one who has spent years in delving into the past secures facts that differ materially from those obtained by some one else who has spent a like time in research, and thus accounts of varying dependency are propounded for reference. This is especially true in tracing the origin of the old picture wall papers that, with the revival of colonial ideas, are again coming into vogue.

One may prate about the papers of to-day, but they cannot compare either in style or in effect with these early types, which show designs patiently and carefully worked out by men who were masters of their craft, and who, while lacking the advantages afforded the designers of the present, nevertheless achieved results that have never been surpassed. This fact is especially noteworthy, and it is wholly to the credit of these old-time[Pg 80] craftsmen that their products are to-day an inspiration to architects and home builders who are seeking the best in the way of interior decoration.

When wall papers first came into use is uncertain, for various authorities with apparently good reason set different times. China claims the honor of having originated them, as does Japan, while Holland boasts the distinction of having first introduced them into other lands. We know for a certainty that wall papers fashioned in strips three feet long and fifteen inches wide were made in Holland centuries ago and introduced into England and France, and latter-day specimens, of similar type, are to be found in the homes of the colonists in our own land.

The printing of these decorative wall papers was at first done from blocks, much as books were printed in early times. While it may not have been block printing, a unique wall hanging of like type was to be seen until within the last few years in a colonial house on Essex Street, at Salem—the Lindall-Andrews dwelling, built in 1740 by Judge Lindall. This wall paper, printed and hung in squares, adorned the parlor at the left of the hallway, and before its removal a reproduction was made by Bumstead for a descendant of the first[Pg 81] owner to use on the walls of a room in her summer home.

Dr. Thomas Barnard, minister of the First Church, who succeeded in arranging for a compromise at the time of Leslie's Retreat, lived in this dwelling during his pastorate, and on the walls of the hallway he caused to have painted by one Bartol of Marblehead, father of Dr. Cyrus Bartol, a series of wonderfully realistic pastoral scenes, that have never been removed and are still to be seen, although their brightness has been dimmed by time.

Pictorial wall paper did not come into general favor in Europe until the eighteenth century, the period that marked the adoption of the long roll still in vogue. To be sure, this type had been used much earlier by the Chinese, but machinery for its fashioning was not invented until the latter half of the eighteenth century. Up to this time, wall paper was made in small squares and laboriously hung,—a fact that made it expensive and accordingly prohibitive to all but the wealthy classes.

Jackson of Battersea in 1744 published a book of designs taken from Italian scenes and bits of sculpture. These were pictures done as panels and printed in oils, and resulted in the adoption[Pg 82] of printed wall paper throughout England. From that time on, as their cost grew less, wall papers were extensively used in the motherland, which fact accounts for the general adoption of this type of wall hanging by the colonists, as the new land grew richer, and square, substantial homes were built.

In the early days of the colonies, there were few mechanics who were able to furnish settings for the new homes, and consequently the home builders were forced to depend on foreign lands for most of their furnishings. Among these, wall hangings were not included, due partly to the fact that there was no place for them in the rude cabins of early times, and partly because they were not then in general use. Wall papers were first brought to this country in 1735, though, owing to their expensiveness, they were not used to any extent until many years later. The frugal housewife preferred to paint the walls either in soft gray tones, with a mixture of gray clay and water, or with yellow paint, ornamented with a hand-painted frieze of simple design, often supplemented by a narrow border stenciled above the chair rail. The earliest examples of this work depicted the rose, the poppy, the violet, or the pink, followed later[Pg 83] by depictions of human interest, such as Indians, wigwams, forest scenes, etc. This idea has been carried out in the recently renovated Kimball house at Georgetown, Massachusetts, where the mistress of the home has used for wall adornment hand-painted friezes of soft-tinted flowers and emblematic designs.

Later, wall papers were brought here in quantities, and while a number of these rare old hangings have been removed and replaced by others of modern type, yet there are many left, each rich in memories of bygone days. The stories connected with them will never be known, save the legends which have been handed down from generation to generation, and which the present grandames love to repeat, as they sit at twilight by the open fire, and the roaring of the logs recalls to mind the olden days.

Much of the wall paper brought here was made to order from accurate measurements, and much was carefully selected in accordance with previous instructions. Often special patterns were purchased for a new home by a young lover, and into their selection went fond and happy thoughts of the bride-to-be.

Even to this day one occasionally finds, stored[Pg 84] away in some old attic, rolls of priceless paper which had been brought here years ago and never used. To the student and dreamer such a discovery is rich in association, and even to the practical home maker it is fraught with suggestions. There is something genuine about it, a touch of quaintness and simplicity that, for lack of a more accurate term, we call colonial.

From one such attic, not so very long ago, were brought to light rolls of rare old paper, which had been hidden away under the eaves for forty years. Upon investigation this was found to be the Don Quixote pattern, one of the three rarest types known, depicting the story of this quaint character from the time of his leaving his home accompanied by his faithful squire, Sancho Panza, to the time of his return, a sadder and wiser man. The scenes are worked out in soft gray tones, wonderfully blended, providing a harmonious and attractive ensemble.

Plate XX.—Cupid and Psyche paper, Safford House. Plate XX.—Cupid and Psyche paper, Safford House.

On the walls of a third-story room in the Andrew house on Washington Square, Salem, is shown a wonderful wall paper, representing an old-time English hunt. In the first picture of the series the soft green of the trees furnishes a contrasting background for the red coats of the hunters who,[Pg 85] on prancing steeds, with yelping hounds grouped about, are ready for the start. Then follow the run over hill and dale, past cottages where wondering peasants gape in open-mouthed admiration at the brilliant train as it flashes by, and the bringing of the fox to bay, ending with the luncheon upon the greensward, showing the huntsmen and their ladies fair enjoying a well-earned repast.

When this dwelling was first built, the parlor, at the right of the hallway, was papered in a rare old hanging, that was removed when defaced, the owners at the time giving little thought to its value. In the room, since its erection, has hung a great, handsomely framed mirror, occupying an entire panel space. Behind this mirror, a short time ago, when the room was to be repapered, a panel of the first wall covering was discovered, as distinct in coloring and detail as the day it was placed there. It is one of twelve panels,—consisting of twenty-six breadths each five feet seven inches long by twenty inches wide, fifteen hundred blocks being used in its printing,—depicting the marriage of Cupid and Psyche, Psyche's lack of faith, and the sad ending of the romance, and is a pattern that is numbered among the most noted designed. The panel found here has been preserved,[Pg 86] and the old mirror hung in place hides it from view.

Such papers are a keen delight to lovers of the colonial, for they convey their meaning clearly and attractively in well-chosen and harmonious coloring. Contrasted with present papers, depicting designs figured or flowered, they show their worth, and it is little wonder that architects have discovered their fascination, and are having old ideas in new dress depicted on the walls of many modern dwellings.

The colonists understood harmony in home decoration, and their wall hangings as well as their furniture were carefully chosen. They purchased papers to suit their apartments, and the colors were selected with a view to the best effect, so that the soft white of the woodwork might be in keeping with their pictorial value. Consistency is the keynote of the colonial interior, and it is this feature that has given to homes of this type that touch of distinction that no other period of architecture possesses.

Plate XXI.—Venetian paper in Wheelwright House, Newburyport. Plate XXI.—Venetian paper in Wheelwright House, Newburyport.

The old wall papers all represent foreign scenes, those of France and England predominating, the latter in a greater degree than the former, though the French papers were more highly finished than[Pg 87] the English. When the colonist became prosperous, and the newest fashions of the motherland were eagerly copied, wall papers of both types were imported; many of these are still preserved, showing shadings done by hand with the utmost care, and colorings of lovely reds, blues, and browns, all produced by the use of from fifteen to twenty sets of blocks.

One of the most exquisite of French papers is shown in the Knapp house at Newburyport, Massachusetts, built by a Revolutionary hero, at the time of the erection of the Lee Mansion at Marblehead. This paper is thought to have been fashioned in the first quarter of the nineteenth century, and in type it is like that found on the hall of the "Hermitage," Andrew Jackson's residence near Nashville, Tennessee. It is produced in wonderful shades of soft green, red, peacock blue, and white, all undimmed by time, and it represents scenes from Fénelon's "Adventure of Telemachus," a favorite novelty in Paris in 1820.

Other fine examples of this type of paper, which have never been hung, are still preserved in the home of Major George Whipple at Salem, having been imported about 1800. These show different scenes, including representations of gateways and fountains, with people in the foreground.[Pg 88]

Natural scenes were favorite themes with many designers, one such example being a Venetian scheme still shown on the walls of the Wheelwright house in Newburyport, a fine, colonial dwelling, built a hundred years ago by an ancestor of William Wheelwright, whose energies resulted in the first railroad over the Andes. This paper is found in the drawing-room, and another, illustrative of a chariot race, is shown in one of the chambers.

Plate XXII.—Roman Ruins paper, Lee Mansion, Marblehead. Plate XXII.—Roman Ruins paper, Lee Mansion, Marblehead.

The Bay of Naples was another favorite theme with designers; in fact, it was numbered among the best-liked subjects. Its faithfulness of detail and exquisite coloring are no doubt responsible for this popularity, and then, too, no other subject could better bear repetition. Other favorite views were scenes of France, more particularly of Paris, and these types were in great favor during Washington's administration and that of John Adams, though later they lost caste.

The new landscape papers suggest the old ones, though they are unlike them in tone and character, except in cases where specimens have been taken as models and copied with faithful exactness. Such instances, however, are rare. The best examples of old specimens of this type date from twenty-five[Pg 89] years prior to the Revolution up to about fifty years afterwards.

Fine examples of such paper are still to be seen at the Lee Mansion at Marblehead, now the home of the Marblehead Historical Society. These, like many others, were made to order in England by accurate measurements, proof positive of this fact being gleaned a few years ago when the panel between the two windows in the upper hall was peeled off, and on the back was found the following inscription, "11 Regent Street, London. Between windows, upper hall." They are all excellently preserved, and constitute probably the most remarkable set in America. For the most part, they are done in gray, outlined in black, and depict old Roman ruins, set like framed pictures, in alternation with strange heraldic devices, like coats of arms. In some of the rooms the papers are in sepia tones, showing castellated scenery, sailboats gliding over lakes, and peasant figures loitering along the shore.

Plate XXIII.—Adventures of Telemachus paper, Nymphs Swinging. Plate XXIII.—Adventures of Telemachus paper, Nymphs Swinging.

Another interesting wall paper is found at Hillsboro, New Hampshire, in the home of Governor Pierce, father of Franklin Pierce, fourteenth President of the United States, which is now used as an inn. The room that it adorns is set apart, and the[Pg 90] pattern depicts galleys setting sail for foreign lands, while to the music of the harpsichord, the gentry dance upon the lawn. In its prime this estate was one of the show places of Hillsboro, with beautiful gardens surrounding the house, and interesting features in the way of peacocks that proudly displayed themselves to the gaze of admiring guests.

Unlike these old-time papers, and yet equally as distinctive, is the wall covering in the hall of the Warner house at Portsmouth, New Hampshire. This is a series of paintings, extending the length of the staircase, and constituting the most unique wall adornment in the country. Ever since the hall was finished, there has been displayed at the staircase landing, in the broad spaces at either side of the central window, life-sized paintings of two Indians, highly decorated and finely executed, thought to be representations of fur traders of early times; but the rest of the series was lost to view for a long time until about sixty years ago, when the hall was repaired. During the process of renovation, four coats of paper that had accumulated were removed, and as the last coat was being torn off, the picture of a horse's hoof was disclosed. This led to further investigation, and soon a painting of Governor Phipps, resplendent in scarlet and yellow,[Pg 91] seated on his charger, was brought to light, followed by the representation of a lady carding wool at a colonial spinning-wheel, who had been interrupted in her task by the alighting of a hawk among chickens. Next came a Scriptural scene, that of Abraham offering up Isaac, followed by a foreign city scene, and several other sketches, covering in all an area of between four and five hundred square feet. The entire paintings to-day are presented in their original beauty, and they lend to the fine hall an atmosphere of interesting quaintness.

But whatever their type, the old wall hangings are always attractive. Sometimes it is the subject that most strongly appeals, again it is the coloring, or it may be the effect, but in any event each and every one serves the purpose for which it was intended, and a room hung with old-time wall paper is undeniably beautiful, affording a setting that modern effects rarely equal.[Pg 92]



There is a charm about old furnishings that cannot fail to appeal to all lovers of the quaint and interesting, and a study of their characteristics is a diversion well worth while. Old-time cabinet-makers understood the value of bestowing upon details the same consideration they gave main features, and, as a result, their work shows that harmony that gives to it an interest not found in later types, and which, more than anything else, has helped bring it into prominence in the equipment of modern dwellings. While this is true of all colonial fittings, it is especially true of the chair, for this article more than any other depicts the gradual betterment of rudely formed beginnings culminating in the work of the three master craftsmen, Chippendale, Hepplewhite, and Sheraton, whose designs, even to-day, serve as an inspiration to high-class cabinet-makers.

In the early days of the colonies, chairs were[Pg 93] scarce appurtenances, and the few used, generally not more than three in number in each home, and known as forms, were very rudely constructed, being in reality stools or benches, fashioned after the English designs then in vogue. Later, these developed into the high-backed settles, which are so much used in a modified form to-day.

Plate XXIV.—Queen Anne, Fiddle Back; Queen Anne, stuffed chair; Dutch Chair, carved; Empire Lyre-backed Roundabout on Chippendale lines, 1825. Plate XXIV.—Queen Anne, Fiddle Back; Queen Anne, stuffed chair; Dutch Chair, carved; Empire Lyre-backed Roundabout on Chippendale lines, 1825.

By the middle of the seventeenth century, chairs had come into more common usage, the type then in favor being strong and solid of frame, with seat and back covered with durable leather or Turkey work. Generally, the legs and stretches were plain, though sometimes the legs and back posts were turned.

Specimens of the turned variety, which are the first seats that really could be termed chairs, are very scarce to-day, the best examples being found at Pilgrim Hall at Plymouth, in the home of Hon. John D. Long at Hingham, Massachusetts, in the Heard house at Ipswich, Massachusetts, and in the Waters collection at Salem, where one specimen shows a covering which is a reproduction, having been fashioned to exactly match in design and texture the original one it replaced when that one wore out.

The year 1700 marked the introduction of the[Pg 94] slat-back chair, which enjoyed a long period of popularity. The number of slats at the back, characteristic of this type, varied with the time of making, the first specimens showing but two, while later types showed five. These chairs were solid and strong of frame, and in Pennsylvania were made curved to fit the back, affording a comfortable support. They included, in addition to ordinary chairs, armchairs, and it was to an armchair of this make that Benjamin Franklin affixed rockers, thus inventing the first American rocking-chair and inaugurating a fashion that has never waned in popularity. This first rocking-chair and its contemporaries, which did not antedate the Revolutionary War by any great number of years, had rockers that projected as far in the front as they did at the back,—a peculiarity that makes them easily recognizable to-day. Later, this objection was remedied, and the present type of rocking-chair came into fashion.

Plate XXV.—Chippendale, Lord Timothy Dexter's Collection, H. P. Benson; French Chair, showing Empire influence; Flemish Chair; Banister-back Chair. Plate XXV.—Chippendale, Lord Timothy Dexter's Collection, H. P. Benson; French Chair, showing Empire influence; Flemish Chair; Banister-back Chair.

From 1710 to 1720 the banister-back chair was much used, though it never enjoyed equal favor with the slat-back type. Instead of the horizontal slats typical of the earlier model, the banister-back chair showed upright spindles, usually four in number, and generally flat, though sometimes[Pg 95] rounded at the back. Its seat, like that of the slat back, was of rush, and it was fashioned of either hard or soft wood, and almost always painted black. One interesting example of this make is found at "Highfield," the ancestral home of the Adams family at Byfield, Massachusetts, having been brought here in the early days of the dwelling's erection by Anne Sewall Longfellow, who came here the bride of Abraham Adams, and who brought the chair herself from her old home across the fields that divided the two estates, so that no harm would befall it. It has been carefully treasured by her descendants, and to-day occupies its original resting place by the side of the wide old fireplace, where, on the night before the Battle of Bunker Hill, leaden bullets used in that historic encounter were cast.

Slightly later than these types came the Dutch chair, sometimes severely plain in design, and again pierced and curiously carved. One excellent example of this model, formerly owned by Moll Pitcher, the famous soothsayer of Lynn, who told one's fate by the teacup at her home at High Rock, is now preserved in a Chestnut Street dwelling at Salem, and shows the straight legs and straight foot of the best class of the Dutch[Pg 96] type, and the usual rush seat. Most Dutch specimens found their way to Dutch settlements, though many were brought to New England direct from northern Holland.

Easy chairs which came into style not long after the slat-back model, proved the most comfortable type yet invented, and served as a welcome variation from the straight and stiff-backed chairs up to that time in favor. They were stuffed at back and sides, and covered with patch or material of like nature. Owing to the amount of material which was used in stuffing and covering them, their cost was considerable, varying from one to five pounds, according to the style and quality of covering used.

The most common and popular chairs of the eighteenth century were those of the Windsor type, manufactured in this country as early as 1725, and deriving their name from the town in England where they originated. The story of their origin is most interesting. The reigning George of that day, the second of his name, saw in a shepherd's cottage a chair which he greatly admired. He bought it to use as a model, thus setting the stamp of kingly approval on this type, and bringing it into immediate favor. It is not related what[Pg 97] color he had his chairs painted, but the general coloring employed was either black or dark green, though some chairs were not painted at all. The finish of the back of this type was varied to suit different fancies, some few having a comblike extension on top as a head-rest, while others had a curved or bowlike horizontal top piece, like a fan. These types originated the names comb back and fan back, by which Windsor chairs of these types are known. American manufacturers in general copied the English styles, though they also developed several variations. Many American Windsors, particularly the fan backs, are equipped with rockers, the date of their manufacture coming after the Revolution.

Plate XXVI.—Chippendale Arm Chair, showing straight, square legs; Chippendale Chair; Chippendale, one of a set of six, showing Rosette design; Chippendale Arm Chair with Cabriole legs, Ball and Claw feet. Plate XXVI.—Chippendale Arm Chair, showing straight, square legs; Chippendale Chair; Chippendale, one of a set of six, showing Rosette design; Chippendale Arm Chair with Cabriole legs, Ball and Claw feet.

But Windsor chairs, popular and fine as they were, by no means were the best type developed in this century, for this period marked a great change in the history of cabinet-making, resulting in the development of wonderful designs, exquisitely blended and finished. First on the list of the new master craftsmen was Chippendale, who in 1753 issued his first book of designs, and whose models were given first consideration for more than thirty years. Then, in 1789, followed Hepplewhite, and two years later came Sheraton, while[Pg 98] lesser lights, such as the Brothers Adam, Manwaring, Ince, and Mayhew, all contributed their share to the betterment of chair manufacture.

The chair seems to have been Chippendale's favorite piece of furniture, and in its design he has blended the finest points in French, Dutch, and Chinese patterns. His first chairs showed Dutch influence, and for these he used the cabriole leg, greatly improving its curving, with the Dutch or ball-and-claw foot, the latter more frequently than the former. His chair seats were broad and flat, and in his backs he disregarded the usual Dutch types, his uprights generally joining the top at an angle, and his top piece being usually bow-shaped. His backs were a little broader at the top than at the bottom, and he used the central splat carved and pierced.

Next, his chairs showed Louis the Fifteenth characteristics, notably in the splats, which were often handsomely carved and pierced. During this time he produced his ribbon-back chair, though his best chairs, showing this influence, were upholstered armchairs, with legs terminating in French scroll feet. Later, he introduced in his chairs Gothic and Chinese features, even though the backs still preserved the Dutch and French features. Finally,[Pg 99] the details of the several features became much mixed, and at length resulted in a predominance of Chinese characteristics. Most of his chairs were done in mahogany, which was a favorite wood in his day, and his skill is especially displayed in the wonderful carving which is typical of much of his work. Not only are his chairs excellently proportioned, but they are so substantially built that even to-day, after more than one hundred and fifty years' usage, they show no sign of wear.

Plate XXVII.—Empire Sofa; Cornucopia Sofa; Sofa in Adams style, about 1800. Plate XXVII.—Empire Sofa; Cornucopia Sofa; Sofa in Adams style, about 1800.

Not a little of his work found its way to New England homes, many fine specimens at one time gracing the dwelling of "Lord" Timothy Dexter, Newburyport's eccentric character, who made his fortune by selling warming pans to the heathen, who used the covers for scooping sugar, and the pans for sirup. His home was filled with quantities of beautiful furniture, including many excellent Chippendale chairs.

Hepplewhite, the second of the master cabinet-makers, succeeded Chippendale in popular favor in 1789, and his furniture, while much lighter and consequently less durable than that of his predecessor, showed a beauty of form and a wealth of ornamentation that rendered it most artistic.[Pg 100] He employed not only carving of the most delicate and exquisite nature, but inlay and painting as well, introducing japanning after the style of Vernis-Martin work.

The shield or heart-shaped back is one of the characteristics of his chairs, though he also used oval backs and sometimes even square backs. They are all very graceful and delicate, with carved drapery, and many of the shield-shaped type show for decoration the three feathers of the Prince of Wales, Hepplewhite being one of the Prince's party when sentiment ran strong during the illness of George III. Other decorations employed by him were the urn, husk and ear of wheat. The wood he generally used was mahogany, though occasionally he made use of painted satinwood.

Plate XXVIII.—Sheraton, mahogany frame, about 1800; Sheraton with solid arms and straight, slender legs; Sheraton, about 1790. Note the graceful curve of the arms. Plate XXVIII.—Sheraton, mahogany frame, about 1800; Sheraton with solid arms and straight, slender legs; Sheraton, about 1790. Note the graceful curve of the arms.

Following close upon the heels of Hepplewhite came Sheraton, the last of the three great masters in cabinet-work. His designs were delicate, but strong, and generally his chair backs were firmer than those of Hepplewhite. When he had exhausted other forms of decoration, he indulged his fancy for brilliant coloring, mixing it with both inlay and carving. Later he embellished his work with the white and gold of the French style, finally employing features of the Napoleonic period, such[Pg 101] as brass mounts and brass inlay. His last seats show the influence of the Empire type, which came into vogue in the early days of the nineteenth century, and the curved piece which he brought in about 1800 served as a model for nearly a century, though it was not adorned with the brass mounts that he had intended.

His greatest glory as a constructor lies in his skillful workmanship and his excellent choice of woods,—satinwood, tulipwood, rosewood, applewood, and occasionally mahogany, being his selection; and as a decorator in the color and arrangement of his marquetry, as well as in the fact that he never allowed consideration of ornament to affect his work as a whole.

Among the chairs he fashioned was one that has come to be known in this country as the Martha Washington chair, from the fact that a specimen of this type was owned at Mount Vernon. Several excellent examples of his chairs are found at "Hey Bonnie Hall," in Bristol, Rhode Island, one of them being the chair in which John Adams is said to have died.

Plate XXIX.—Sheraton, about 1800; Sofa, about 1820; Sofa, about 1820, winged legs. Plate XXIX.—Sheraton, about 1800; Sofa, about 1820; Sofa, about 1820, winged legs.

Chairs of all types are found in any number of old-time homes, those in Salem being as representative as any, for to this old seaport more than to[Pg 102] any other, in proportion, rare furnishings were brought. Many of the pieces are of historic interest, such as the old-time chair of Flemish make, brought over in the ship Angel Gabriel, which was wrecked off the coast of Maine; much of its cargo was recovered, including this old chair, which was later brought to Salem in another ship. Another fine old specimen is the armchair, for many years the prized possession of Hawthorne, and an heirloom in his family, which he presented to the Waters family, in whose possession it now is.

With the passing of Sheraton, Empire models held full sway, and, while some of these were comfortable and graceful, the majority were massive, stiff, and extreme in style. Early nineteenth-century chairs manufactured in America are of this type, some of them of rosewood, some of mahogany, and some painted, while many are of mahogany veneer.

But while chairs were the most common seats in the colonies, they were not the only ones, for old-time homes were supplied with sofas as well. To be sure, these did not come into use until many years after the advent of the chair, the time of their appearance being about the year 1760; the[Pg 103] majority shown are the work of the master cabinet-makers. Sheraton models are those most commonly found here, though the earliest specimens are of Chippendale manufacture, excellent examples of his work being still found, many of them characterized by Louis XV features. A special design of Chippendale's much in favor was "The Darby and Joan" sofa, in reality a double seat, which model, as well as many others that became very popular, was never shown in his catalogue.

Sheraton sofas came in vogue about 1800, their graceful designs and handsome carving making them at once favorites. Many of these showed eight legs, though later, when his designs became heavier and more elaborate, only four legs were used. The coverings of these later specimens were generally haircloth, fastened with brass nails.

The Brothers Adam also made some of the sofas found here, their designs showing a peculiar slanting or curved leg which is known as the Adam leg, and which is also characteristic of some of Sheraton's pieces.

About 1820 what was known as the Cornucopia sofa came into style, the carving at the arms showing horns of plenty, which design was often repeated in the top-rail, while the hollow made by[Pg 104] the curve of the decoration was filled with hard, round pillows, known as "squabs." Contemporaneous with this type was the Empire sofa, with winged legs and claw feet, often covered with haircloth. One example of this model, exquisitely carved, is in the possession of a Salem family. But whatever their type or characteristic, the old-time chair and sofa are distinctive, and it is a tribute to their worth that in the equipment of modern homes designers are reverting to them for inspiration. Likewise it is with relief that we welcome them, after so long harboring the ugly monstrosities that followed in favor the Empire types.[Pg 105]



The present interest in antiques has brought into prominence the old-time furnishings, and as a result ancient hiding places have been forced to give up their treasures, and hitherto little appreciated relics are now reinstated with all their original dignity. The architect of the twentieth century is responsible in a great measure for this, for in his zest to give to modern homes the best that could be afforded, he has seen fit to revert to early types for inspiration; and with the revival in favor of these specimens, genuine antiques have come to be appreciated, and their value has correspondingly increased.

Included among these old-time pieces are chests, which in early days did service for numerous purposes. In America they were first fashioned by workmen who came to this country from foreign lands, through the efforts of the first governor, John Endicott, many of them being employed on[Pg 106] plantations, where much of their work was done. These chests were made of the wood of forest trees, which then grew so plentifully, and are rude and simple in construction, in striking contrast to the rich, hand-carved, mahogany chests, which many of the colonists brought from the motherland, packed with their clothing, and which, later on, were shipped here in large numbers. Old inventories frequently mention both these types of chests, those manufactured here generally being spoken of as "owld pine chests." They were principally used in the chamber and at one side of the fireplace in the general room, the larger ones to hold family necessities, such as the homespun clothing and anything else that needed to be covered, while the smaller ones served as receptacles for the skeins of wool from which the handy housewife fashioned the family wearing apparel.

Such chests were an intimate part of the home life in those early times, and viewing their quaintness it is not hard to picture the scenes of which they were a part, when the house mother, in her homespun gown, busily spun at her old clock wheel, drawing the skeins from the chest at her side, while the little ones, seated on rude benches before the open fire, carefully filled the quills for[Pg 107] the next day's supply. Mayhap the eldest daughter fashioned on the big wheel, under her mother's guidance, her wedding garments, weaving into them loving thoughts of the groom-to-be, while the song in her heart kept time to the merry whirr of the wheel.

Of the larger type of the "owld pine chest" is the treasured specimen at Georgetown, known for many generations as the magic chest, and so called from the feats it is said to have performed in the early days of its history, such as walking up and down stairs, and dancing a merry jig when a deacon sat upon its lid. It stands to-day quiet and demure, giving no hint of its former hilarious tendencies, though it is no longer used for its original purpose,—the storing of meal for the family use.

Plate XXX.—Sheraton Night Table; Block Front Bureau Desk, owned by Dr. Ernest H. Noyes, Newburyport, Mass.; Cellarette, 1700, owned originally by Robert Morris. Plate XXX.—Sheraton Night Table; Block Front Bureau Desk, owned by Dr. Ernest H. Noyes, Newburyport, Mass.; Cellarette, 1700, owned originally by Robert Morris.

With the betterment of financial conditions, the rude pine chests went out of fashion, and in their stead beautiful hand-carved specimens were brought from foreign countries. Many of these show exquisite coloring, any number of examples being still preserved; sometimes they were placed in the chamber, but more frequently on the landing at the head of the stairs.

Plate XXXI.—Dressing Glass with Petticoat legs; Empire Bureau, 1816. Plate XXXI.—Dressing Glass with Petticoat legs; Empire Bureau, 1816.

Chests with drawers were in fashion as early as[Pg 108] 1650, according to the old records, many of them handsomely carved, and all showing little egg-shaped pieces upon the drawers. Some of the finest of these old chests are shown in the Waters collection at Salem. Generally they were fashioned of oak, and a frequent characteristic was a lid on top which lifted off, allowing for the packing of large articles, while the drawers at the front were used for storing smaller things. Sometimes chests are found constructed on frames, but not often. This type was probably fashioned to hold linen, being the forerunner of the high chest of drawers which came into vogue in the later days of the seventeenth century. Up to some time after 1700, chests continued in general use, though it is doubtful if they were made in any great quantity after 1720. The number of legs found on these chests varies with the time of making, some showing six, while others have but four.

Plate XXXII.—Chest of Drawers, 1710; Six-legged High Chest of Drawers, about 1705. Plate XXXII.—Chest of Drawers, 1710; Six-legged High Chest of Drawers, about 1705.

With the advent of the high chest of drawers, other woods than oak, such as walnut and cherry, and later mahogany, became popular; the use of these woods produced a marked change in chest designs, notably in the massiveness of build. Many specimens of both types are found throughout New England, one very fine example of the[Pg 109] early type showing the drop handle, which is a characteristic of the early chest, being included in the Nathaniel B. Mansfield collection. Another of the later type, now in the Pickering house, carefully stored away that no harm may befall it, shows on one side the initials of Colonel Timothy Pickering, who used it during his army days.

Plate XXXIII.—Dressing Table with Brass feet; Bureau and Dressing Glass. Plate XXXIII.—Dressing Table with Brass feet; Bureau and Dressing Glass.

Dressing tables were made to go with these chests, following the same lines of design, though constructed with four rather than six legs. These came to be designated as "lowboys" in distinction from the chests mounted upon high legs, which were known as "highboys." Examples of both were found in the old General Abbot house at Salem, until a few years ago; while a highboy, showing bandy legs, a characteristic of the earliest high chest, is a prized possession in the Benson home, also at Salem.

Many highboys and lowboys show inlay work, one of the former, of English manufacture, being found in the Warner house at Portsmouth, while another, of different style, is shown in the Osgood house at Salem.

Lowboys were made to correspond with every style of the high chest, and frequently they were constructed of maple, beautifully marked, after[Pg 110] the fashion of the chests made of walnut and cherry. Highboys sometimes took the form of a double chest, showing drawers extending almost to the floor, and mounted on varied-style feet, frequently of the claw-and-ball type. These, as well as lowboys, continued to be regularly used until well into the last quarter of the eighteenth century. Hepplewhite's book of designs, published in 1789, shows models for chests of drawers extending almost to the floor, but it is not probable that they were made in any number after this date.

Plate XXXIV.—Block Front Bureau Desk, owned by Nathan C. Osgood, Esq. One of the best specimens in New England; oak paneled Chest, about 1675. Plate XXXIV.—Block Front Bureau Desk, owned by Nathan C. Osgood, Esq. One of the best specimens in New England; oak paneled Chest, about 1675.

The desk occupied a prominent place in New England homes in the early days of the colonies, though not to the extent of the other and more necessary articles of furniture. It varied in size and design according to the period of its manufacture, the earliest type being little more than a box that locked, with flat or sloping top, and placed on the table when used. This type was often ornamented with rich carving, and sometimes it was arranged upon legs, with a shelf beneath.

The form in common use about 1700 was known as the "scrutoir," being in reality a desk resting on a chest of drawers; the sloping front opened on hinges, and afforded a writing desk. One example of this type, fitted with ball feet, and showing[Pg 111] secret drawers and many cupboards, is found in the Ropes house in Salem, being an inheritance from the original owner, General Israel Putnam. Another of equal interest is in the home of Mrs. Guerdon Howe at Haverhill. This originally belonged to Daniel Webster, who was at one time a law partner of Mr. Howe's grandfather. This desk, which was brought to the house after the death of Webster, is filled with old and interesting letters.

Plate XXXV.—Secretary, showing shell ornamentation; Highboy with shell ornamentation and ball and claw feet, 1760; Highboy with shell ornamentation. Plate XXXV.—Secretary, showing shell ornamentation; Highboy with shell ornamentation and ball and claw feet, 1760; Highboy with shell ornamentation.

The earliest "scrutoirs" were of foreign manufacture, chiefly English, but by 1710 they were being made in this country. These early American "scrutoirs" are very plain in form, generally made of cherry, though occasionally one is found constructed of walnut. After the first quarter of the eighteenth century, American manufacturers improved their output, and made some very handsome specimens of the type known as bureau desks. One excellent example of the very early bureau desk of foreign make is found in the possession of the Alden family, having been brought to this country in the Mayflower by John Alden himself.

By 1750 the desk in its various forms had come to be considered an important part of the household[Pg 112] equipment, and in their manufacture many woods were employed, such as mahogany, cherry, apple, and black walnut, sometimes solid, and sometimes veneered. The following thirty years saw the advent of many new styles, two of which were more dominant than the rest; one of these was the development of the early "scrutoir," and the other the forerunner of the bookcase desk or secretary.

During this period Chippendale designed several desk models, the most notable of which was probably his secretary, characterized by Chinese fret designs in the glass doors, and an ingenious arrangement of secret drawers. In 1790 Hepplewhite followed with his designs, many of which were severe in contour, being wholly straight in front and arranged with two glass doors above, sometimes fancifully framed. Then Sheraton's desks and secretaries came into favor; many of his models showed practical features and beautiful finish, and after 1793 were generally characterized by inlay work, with the lower portion consisting of a cupboard instead of the usual drawers.

Plate XXXVI.—Dressing Table, 1760; Mahogany Commode, collection of Nathan C. Osgood, Esq. Plate XXXVI.—Dressing Table, 1760; Mahogany Commode, collection of Nathan C. Osgood, Esq.

During these latter days of the eighteenth century, beautiful secretaries were manufactured in this country, ranging in form from the very plain[Pg 113] to the very elaborate, but after 1800, when some few French Empire desks found their way here, serving as models for American manufacturers, the domestic output became less graceful, depending for beauty on the grain of the veneering used.

Many of all these types of desks are found throughout New England, one particularly good specimen being shown in the Noyes house at Newburyport. This belongs to a period antedating the Revolutionary War, and shows the oval which is characteristic of its type. Among its features are paneled doors one and one half inches thick.

Though the date of their introduction was not until well along in the eighteenth century, sideboards are prominent among the old-time furnishings, and in the highest state of their development they were articles of beauty and utility. In reality they are a development of the serving table, which came into vogue in the first half of the eighteenth century, and in form are a combination of the serving table and its accompanying pieces. At first they were little more than unwieldy, unattractive chests of drawers, gradually developing to their best form, with carved front, slender legs, and other details. In their construction,[Pg 114] mahogany was chiefly used, inlaid with satinwood, holly, tulip, and maple, and veneered occasionally with walnut; and they showed in their finished lines the best work of the skilled craftsman. The last type of the old sideboard showed Empire characteristics, being more massive than graceful, but yet containing features of marked beauty.

While Chippendale is often credited with having made sideboards, no record of this fact is found among his designs, though he makes frequent mention of several large tables, which he calls sideboard tables. No doubt, many of the sideboards credited to him were made by Shearer, a designer to whom belongs the credit of originating the sideboard, and who included in his designs pieces with curved and serpentine fronts, a style which was later perfected by Hepplewhite. There is no doubt that Hepplewhite made sideboards, for in his book of designs he shows a sideboard model, with a deep drawer at each end and a shallow one in the center, as well as four different designs in the table form, without the drawers, which are similar to Chippendale's work. Hepplewhite's sideboards are characterized by square legs, often ending in the spadefoot, the ends sometimes[Pg 115] square and sometimes round, the front swelled, straight, or curved, affording a great variety to his work. Generally his sideboards are made of mahogany, and almost invariably they are inlaid, though occasionally they show carving.

Sheraton also designed sideboards, and while in general appearance they somewhat resemble Hepplewhite's designs, in many respects they are superior. They were equipped with any number of devices, such as cellarets, closets for wine bottles, slides for the serving tray, and racks for plates and glasses, and many of them are lavishly ornamented with inlay work, though few show carving.

Plate XXXVII.—Sheraton Sideboard; Simple form of Sheraton Sideboard, with line inlay around drawers and doors. Date 1800. Plate XXXVII.—Sheraton Sideboard; Simple form of Sheraton Sideboard, with line inlay around drawers and doors. Date 1800.

Examples of all these types are found in the colonies, one of Hepplewhite design showing the fine inlay work and graceful proportions typical of his pieces and originally owned by Governor Wentworth, being in the possession of a Salem family. Another, of Sheraton make, is preserved in the Stark home, having been brought here from the Governor Pierce house at Hillsboro. Another of like make is found in the Howe house, having originally belonged to an ancestor of the present owner, Governor John Leverett, governor of[Pg 116] Massachusetts during the time of King Philip's War.

Shortly after 1800, the style of sideboard greatly changed, becoming more massive, with the body placed nearer the floor, and the legs shorter. French Empire styles influenced the manufacture in this country to a great extent, though carving and the grain of the wood were still depended upon for ornament, rather than the French features. The best examples of this type are to-day found in the South; 1820-1830 saw the advent of a plainer model, being in reality an adaptation of one of Sheraton's types; in the following years other variations were made, all showing the heaviness of the Empire style in a more or less degree, until about 1850, when the architectural merits of the sideboard disappeared.

Intimately associated with the sideboard is the table which probably shows more variety in design than any of the other old-time furnishings. From the table board or top used in 1624, square, oval, or round in contour, evolved the butterfly table popular about 1700, many examples of which are found throughout Connecticut. These followed in form the outline of a butterfly, and were supported by pieces of wood shaped much like the rudder[Pg 117] of a ship. Other types popular here were the Dutch table, the hundred-legged table, the dish-top table, and the tea table.

The first table used in this country was the table top, which was literally a board made separate from its supports, which was taken off and placed at one side of the room after meals. This showed different forms, and was known by different names, one called the chair table, and so constructed that when not in use it served as a seat, being probably the most unique. It was invariably fashioned with drawers.

Included in the later designs were writing tables fashioned by Sheraton, showing elegant carving at the back, the most decorative of these, known as the "Kidney" based table, being used either for writing or as a lady's worktable. Another model of Sheraton's was a worktable known as the Pouch Table, arranged with a bag of drawn silk. These were often fitted with drawers and a sliding desk, which drew forward from beneath the table top.

The dining table of this period showed the pillar and claw style with central leg fixed to a block, on which the table hinged. This principle received the support of the English people for many[Pg 118] years, and Sheraton tables of this make had four claws to each pillar, and castors of brass. So much did Sheraton designs resemble those of French artisans that only close inspection will decide as to which cabinet-maker a certain piece belongs.

Following this type came the telescopic table, showing extensions fitted through slides moving in grooved channels.

Other later tables were card tables, which closed and could be stood against the wall when not in use, the pie-crust table of the Dutch style of make, and the table with scalloped moldings carved from solid pieces of wood, with legs terminating in claw-and-ball feet. Tables of Empire design often have brass feet and lyre supports, while others show the rope carving and acanthus leaf.

Popular types of the later days of the eighteenth century were Pembroke tables, small and of ornamental design, with inlaid tops and brackets to supply the two side flaps, as well as Pier tables, circular or serpentine in shape.[Pg 119]



At no time since the days of the Renaissance has interest been so keen in interior decoration as it is at the present day, not only as regards the main living rooms of the home, but the sleeping apartments as well. This has resulted in a revival of old-time features, and the chamber fittings of the present in many cases are similar in type to those of early times, when purely classical designs were in vogue,—models that have never been surpassed in beauty by later designers, though many a fine piece of furniture has been made since then by expert cabinet-makers.

Early specimens showed a delicacy of touch and a mastery of thought that gave to them a lasting place in the world of architecture, and while the coming historian may dilate upon twentieth-century models, he cannot make any comparison that will in any way be derogatory to these wonderfully fine old pieces. In early days, labor was a[Pg 120] very different problem from what it is to-day, years being often spent in the making of a single specimen of furniture, and, indeed, in some countries, a workman has been known to have spent his whole life in the fashioning of a single piece.

Taking these points into consideration, one cannot wonder that early century pieces are still as perfect as they were the day that they left the makers' hands, and it is with regret that he views the hurry and rush of modern times resulting in the practical abolition of hand carving, and the introduction of machinery that has helped in the deterioration of the art. Reproductions, as they are made to-day, while in many cases very beautiful, cannot equal in finish the originals fashioned at a time when art was the first consideration.

Fortunately, many genuine antiques are still in existence, and present interest for the most part centers in their types and periods of manufacture. With so many periods and so many makers, it is not surprising that mistakes in these respects are sometimes made, especially as regards the bedstead. For the best of these, one need not search farther back than the seventeenth century, for the most valuable specimens were made in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, many of[Pg 121] these to-day bringing from two to three hundred dollars apiece.

Of course, these fine beds were not the first beds used here, though no doubt the earlier types, as well as these later specimens, were imported from England, along with the other household furnishings. If any bedsteads were made here, they were undoubtedly simple and unpretentious, along the lines of the settle and board tables.

The articles of furniture devised by people of different countries for comfort in sleep vary according to climate and the progress of civilization. The bed of our primeval ancestors consisted of dried mosses and leaves, with a canopy of waving leaves above. Later, through the need of shelter from the frost and protection from crawling insects, a rude structure consisting of a framework of poles, covered with branches, was substituted. Probably the first authentic representation of a bed is found on ancient Egyptian tombs, depicting a long, narrow receptacle, suited for but one person. Greek and Roman beds, representations of which have also been found, are of the single type, resembling in shape the Flemish couches made in the latter half of the seventeenth century, while the Greek thalamos, another type, showed a framework of[Pg 122] great beauty, curiously carved, and decked with ivory, gold, silver, and precious stones. Roman luxury outvied that of Greece, as is shown by specimens that have been found in Pompeii, and the hangings of the bed, while receiving special attention, seemed to be less highly prized than the frame, probably on account of the mildness of the climate.

The eleventh century saw the half-savage people of northern Europe building beds into the walls of their rooms, and fitting them with doors and sliding panels to insure against the cold. These cupboard couches are reproduced in a modified form in many summer homes to-day, being arranged like steamer berths.

After the Norman Conquest, beds of this type came into favor in England, though they were quickly superseded by a great oaken bed with roofed-over top. This was arranged in the center of the room, and heavily curtained for protection against the wind that blew in through the cracks of the poorly hung doors and the unglazed windows, closed only by loosely fitted shutters. Many of these beds were of prodigious size, the most historic, "The Great Bed of Ware" to which Shakespeare alludes, being twelve feet square, built of solid oak, and finished with the most elaborate carving imaginable.[Pg 123] This bed is known to have furnished sleeping accommodations for twelve persons at one time, and it has stood for nearly four centuries in an ancient inn, located in the town of Ware. In style, this is a four-poster, and doubtless marks the induction of this, the most expensive but the most popular bed of its day.

Plate XXXVIII.—Bedstead in Middleton House, 1798. Plate XXXVIII.—Bedstead in Middleton House, 1798.

Old-time four-posters consisted, as do those we see to-day, of four posts, supporting a tester, and connected laterally by sidepieces which were almost always undecorated, as the bedspread was supposed to fall over the sides of the bed and cover them. A headboard was considered almost indispensable, although it is absent in some cases. It was usually rather low and decorated with carving, more or less elaborate. The footboard was sometimes used, but was quite often omitted in the older specimens, and seems to have come into favor later on, as an additional detail. When the posts were lowered, the footboard rose into prominence, but this was not until after the first quarter of the nineteenth century had elapsed.

Many of the beds had a canvas bottom, held in place either by iron rods or ropes, or sometimes by both. It was "sackcloth and ashes" at house-cleaning time in those days, for either kind required[Pg 124] the united strength of several muscular arms to put it together. The hair mattress was unknown at that period, and in its place was used brown linen sacking filled with straw and buttoned at one side, so that the straw could be easily removed at any time. This formed the lower strata of the bed, and above it were laid innumerable feather beds, piled one above the other, so high that often steps were necessary assistants in getting into bed.

Plate XXXIX.—Sheraton type, in Kittredge House; Four-poster, about 1825. Plate XXXIX.—Sheraton type, in Kittredge House; Four-poster, about 1825.

In colonial homes, where bedrooms were fireless, curtains and hangings were important accessories of the bed to shield the sleeper from drafts. These were often made of linen, handspun by some member of the household, and while many were white, some were in colors. One of these, of blue and white homespun pattern, edged with hand-made ball fringe, has been in constant use for generations, and as yet shows not the slightest sign of wear. It is now owned by a fortunate Salem woman.

Plate XL.—Field Bedstead, slept in by Lafayette, in Stark Mansion. Owned by Mrs. Charles Stark, Dunbarton, N. H. Plate XL.—Field Bedstead, slept in by Lafayette, in Stark Mansion. Owned by Mrs. Charles Stark, Dunbarton, N. H.

Many of these hangings were made of chintz and hand-embroidered linen, and in homes of limited means they were also made of patch, following the style of the quilt. Blankets were likewise home-made, of handspun wool, adorned with roses in each corner, which gave them the name of rose blankets. A blue and white homespun[Pg 125] counterpane added the finishing touch, and often the hangings of the bed were of this same material, the curtains being drawn back loosely so that, on cold nights, they could be permitted to fall about the bed. Often both counterpane and hangings were finished with a hand-made netted fringe, varying in width from five to eight inches.

While beds were a scarcity in the rude homes of our early ancestors, still they were sometimes brought here from over the seas, as is proven from an account written by Rev. Robert Crowell in his History of Essex, in which he speaks of two bedrooms in Darius Cogswell's house. These were divided off from the main room by handsome curtains that were stretched the whole way across, and, in the bed reserved for visitors, the guests of the night lay inclosed with curtains to exclude the night air; these, when drawn in the morning, allowed one to peer through the cracks in the shrunken logs at the world outside.

Most of our ancestors, however, were content with much simpler beds than this, for mere frames, with curtains and valances, were most frequently used, the beds stuffed with straw or feathers plucked from live geese, or poultry, and laid on[Pg 126] the floor. Among these early types are "Cupboard" or "Presse" bedsteads, frequently mentioned in the inventories from which we gather much of our information. These, when not in use, were fastened up against the wall, proving valuable space savers where space was limited. Bunks were another type of the early bed in use here, one specimen, used in early days for slaves who were in the family, being still shown at the Adams house at Byfield.

Possibly the early settlers may have used a bed that is still in fashion among the Kentucky mountaineers, known as "Wild Bill." This is a one-poster, rather than a four-poster, and occupies a corner of the loft in a log cabin. The side and end of the cabin serve for headboard and one side of the bed; saplings nailed to the solitary post that runs from roof to flooring supply footboard and sidepiece; springy poles, running crosswise, uphold the home-made straw mattress and feather bed. Doubtless the rest of the mountaineer who uses this is sweet, but to one unused to it, it seems a diabolical bed!

When life in the new country became easier, furniture of all kinds was brought here from England, much of it of the Queen Anne period. This comprised,[Pg 127] among other details, four-posters made of black walnut, this wood having superseded English oak in popular favor during the preceding reign of William and Mary. Panelings and moldings that had done duty during the Jacobean period were retained in all their splendor, and to these were added the new feature of the claw-and-ball foot. Our oldest beds belong to this period, unless we consider Presse bedsteads or Cupboard bedsteads, already spoken of, as real beds. The Dutch name for such contrivances was "slaw-bank," and they might be said to be the forerunner of the latter-day folding bed.

Mahogany was first used in England in the year 1720, and therefore it belongs to the Georgian period. Four-posters of this material, as constructed in the early days of their popularity, had slender and delicate posts, which were sometimes fluted and sometimes carved. In these earlier specimens the headboards were simply made and left undecorated. At this time great advance in the designing of furniture was made, for cabinet-makers published books of designs, and Chippendale, who was doubtless the greatest English exponent of his craft, designed beds with footpieces and sidepieces, carefully paneled and carved. He[Pg 128] used tall and slender posts, and carving of the most elaborate nature. Genuine Chippendale beds are rare in America, and they are not common in England, seeming almost as if he had executed this piece of furniture less frequently than any other. We have, however, beautiful specimens which were modeled after Chippendale designs.

In English furniture making, the brothers Adam held the supremacy from 1775 until the end of the century. They endeavored to restore the simply classical styles of Greece and Rome, with Greek ornamental figures, such as the acanthus, urns, shells, rosettes, and female heads. They made a smaller bed than the Chippendale pattern, with lower posts and less abundant carving.

Hepplewhite's influence culminated some ten years later than that of the brothers Adam. He designed four-posters of attractive delicacy, used carved rosettes and a delicately carved beading by way of decoration, and delighted to place an urn-shaped section, lightly festooned with drapery, on the post where the sidepiece joins the standard.

Plate XLI.—Sheraton Four-poster; Four-poster showing decided English characteristics. Plate XLI.—Sheraton Four-poster; Four-poster showing decided English characteristics.

Sheraton was the last of the noted cabinet-makers of the Georgian period, commencing to publish his designs in 1790. They were distinguished for the use of inlaid work, and later on he developed[Pg 129] painted designs. In his work he introduced many light woods, such as whitewood, satinwood, and sycamore, which, when painted green, was termed harewood. The trend of sentiment at that time seemed to be toward simplicity and delicacy.

The last great change in the old four-poster was made, curiously enough, in deference to Napoleon, for it was through his influence that ancient Roman decorations, such as the laurel wreath and the torch, were revived. England had her mental reservations regarding this type, however, and by the time the fashion reached America it simply lowered the bedposts. It was the beginning of the end, however, and forty years later came the Renaissance of black walnut, and with it the relegation of the old four-posters to attic and storehouse, or else to the chopping block. Saddest of all, their owners were glad to see them go, on account of the difficulty of putting them together. In the revival of colonial fittings, the four-poster has again been restored to favor, and in many modern homes the old four-poster is the chamber's most pleasing feature.

There are some wonderfully fine old four-posters in America. One of these, in the Howe house at Haverhill, showing slender posts, surmounted[Pg 130] by the ball and eagle, is made of brass. Originally it belonged to the first owner of the dwelling, Dr. Nathaniel Saltonstall, a contemporary of George Washington, and a descendant of Sir Richard Saltonstall. It has never been out of the family since its importation, the present owner being the widow of the first owner's great-grandson.

Historic through the fact that it once graced the chamber of Oliver Wendell Holmes is the exquisite four-poster now in a Salem house. This is characterized by a richness of design that is most attractive, and the hangings are in keeping with the exquisiteness of the whole. In this same dwelling is another old poster, this time of the low type, that came into vogue about 1825. This shows but little of the carving that is a feature of the older types.

Other fine old four-posters can be found in Salem. One is of Hepplewhite make, showing the slender posts and fluting of his type, while another is considered one of the best specimens in New England, with a drapery of patch that is probably all of a hundred years old.

At Dunbarton, New Hampshire, in the old Stark mansion, is a fine example of the Field bedstead,[Pg 131] standing exactly as it did when Lafayette occupied it so many years ago, and still known by the name then given to it, the Lafayette bed.

In the Middleton house at Bristol is a most interesting four-poster, done in white, the gift to a bride of long ago. Lately this has been repainted exactly as it was when first placed in the house, the design depicted, that of the bow and arrow, showing as clear and dainty as when first traced. In another chamber in this same old home is another four-poster that was brought direct from Leghorn. Both of these rare specimens have been in the family since the building of the homestead.

Examples of these fine old beds are growing scarcer and rarer each year, and their value is correspondingly increasing. Some years ago they could be had almost for the asking, but with their revival in favor, their worth has increased. They depict an era that is associated with the best in the way of design and craftsmanship, and not a few of them have historic associations that render them particularly notable.[Pg 132]



The heavily freighted ships that came into the harbor in the days of Salem's commercial prosperity brought in their holds many valuables, including mirrors, several of which are to-day found in Salem homes. Not a few of these are ancestral heirlooms, closely interlinked with interesting family histories, and their depths have reflected the faces of many old-time belles.

Even in the earliest days of the colonies, mirrors formed a part of the household accessories, for our Puritan ancestors, scorning as they did all pretence of personal vanity, did not forbear to glimpse their appearance before they wended their way to service on Sabbath morn. Proof positive of their use at this time is to-day in existence in the form of inventories that list the prices and tell odd, descriptive stories concerning them, as, for instance, a record of 1684 that speaks of "a large looking-glass and brasses valued at two pounds, five shillings."[Pg 133]

The origin of the mirror is shrouded in mystery and the time of its invention uncertain, but there is no doubt that rude reflectors were made to serve the purpose in South Europe and Asia, at least three hundred years before the Christian Era. These were made of metal, varied in shape, and they were considered necessary toilet accessories. All were highly polished, and several showed handles elaborately wrought.

Small mirrors of polished iron or bronze were used by the early Chinese, who wore them as ornaments at their girdles, attached to a cord that held the handle or knob. Who knows but these may have been forerunners of the "vanity case" in use to-day!

Small circular placques of polished metal known as pocket and hand mirrors came into vogue between the twelfth and the fifteenth centuries. These, too, were worn at the girdle, and placed in shallow boxes covered with a lid. The cases were of ivory, beautifully carved with representations of love, romance, and, less frequently, of the hunt.

Looking-glasses when first used were fastened to the wall like panels, but in the fifteenth century they became movable. These earlier mirrors show[Pg 134] a great variety of shapes, and were made of different kinds of polished metal.

The Venetians undoubtedly made the first looking-glasses, having been the ones to discover the art of coating plates of glass with an amalgam of tin foil and mercury. For over a century they guarded their secret well, and it was not until 1670 that the art became known in England through the keenness of an Englishman named Lambert.

Salem merchants sent their ships to Venetian ports, and an occasional mirror of this make is found here. One of these is owned in Salem. It is about a foot and a half in length, its frame of gilt surmounted by a cornice and gilt pineapple, with claw feet.

The introduction of glass mirrors gave rise to a new industry,—the making of mirror frames. In this occupation, cabinet-makers found a new vent for their skill, since by far the larger number of frames were made of wood. Of course, there were a few odd frames made, such as those of glass fitted together at the joints with gilt molding, but the majority were of wood. The different styles are characteristic of certain periods or designers, and it is upon the frame rather than upon[Pg 135] the glass that one must rely for value, as well as for date of manufacture.

Previous to the Revolution, the colonists manufactured little furniture, and were dependent upon England, Holland, Spain, and France for their house furnishings, including mirrors. Many beautiful specimens thus found their way here, and many are still to be found in colonial homes. One such is owned in Salem. This is a Bilboa glass, an especially fine type, one of several still preserved in New England, principally in Marblehead. There is a popular legend that these old glasses were brought from the Bay of Biscay by sailors for sweethearts at home, though some authorities insist that they were imported from Italy and paid for with dried fish. However this may be, they are certainly excellent illustrations of the early craftsmen's skill.

The distinctive feature of the Bilboa glass is a column of salmon-colored marble on either side of the gilt frame. This marble is glued or cemented in small sections to the wood, and in some cases strips of marble form the border around the frame. It is ornamented on top by a broken arch surmounted by an urn. Grotesque and grinning heads top the columns, and a narrow bead molding[Pg 136] surrounds the glass and decorates the lower part in scroll design.

Plate XLII.—Girandole in George Ropes House, 1800; Girandole, 1800; Constitution Mirror, 1780. Plate XLII.—Girandole in George Ropes House, 1800; Girandole, 1800; Constitution Mirror, 1780.

The earliest type of looking-glasses came into vogue in the first half of the eighteenth century, during the reign of Queen Anne of England. The frames of simple wood gave little hint of the extravagant decorations that were to follow, the only ornamentation being gilded wooden figures and squat urns, which were occasionally used.

Plate XLIII.—Picture Mirror showing Dawn, in Adams House, 1703; English Georgian Mirror, 1750; Two-piece Looking-glass, 1750. Plate XLIII.—Picture Mirror showing Dawn, in Adams House, 1703; English Georgian Mirror, 1750; Two-piece Looking-glass, 1750.

Owing to the extreme difficulty of making large pieces of glass, and also because it was not deemed prudent to waste the smaller pieces, many of the Queen Anne mirrors were made of two pieces of glass arranged so that one plate overlapped the other. Later, these parts were joined by strips of gilt molding. Several of these mirrors are still in existence, one of the earlier type being owned by Mrs. Walter L. Harris of Salem, showing a simple glass with gilt figure ornament.

One of the finest mirror designers was Chippendale, who wrought out Chinese patterns, his schemes showing a wonderful weaving of birds, flowers, animals, and even human beings. One design, typical of his work, shows a flat wooden frame cut in graceful arches, with a gilded eagle perched on top with outspread wings. Gilt rosettes[Pg 137] and flowers, as well as ornaments strung on wire, were frequently used by him, and are considered characteristic of his type.

It was customary for the frames to rest on a pair of mirror knobs, which were fitted to the lower edge of the frame and screwed firmly to the wall. These knobs were often made of brass, but the most fashionable ones were of copper overlaid with Battersea enamel, and framed in rings of brass. Among the most quaint designs which were carried out on these mirror knobs were heads of prominent persons such as Washington, Lafayette, and Lord Nelson. Bright-colored flowers and landscapes, the American eagle, and the thirteen stars, representing the original colonies, were also frequently used, as were the queer designs of the funeral urn and weeping willow, that seemed to especially appeal to our ancestors' taste.

By the year 1780 American mirror manufacturers had evolved a style peculiarly their own, and the glasses made at that time were known as Constitution mirrors. The frames were not unusual in design, generally being made of wood, in more or less elaborate shapes, but they were original in their decoration, especially in their tops. These generally were graced by the American eagle, the[Pg 138] newly chosen emblem of the Republic, executed either in plaster covered with gilt, or in wood. A good example of the Constitution type is shown in the Lord house at Newton. The top shows the usual eagle decoration, though the cornice is overhanging, fixing the date of manufacture early in the nineteenth century. This mirror is especially historic, having belonged to the brilliant Revolutionary hero, Henry Knox, General Washington's most intimate friend.

Another handsome mirror of the same period is one that was originally in the Harrod mansion at Newburyport. It was one of the few things saved when the house was burned at the time of the great fire in 1812. This mirror now hangs in the home of a lineal descendant of the Harrod family in Salem. It is in perfect condition, and shows the eagle top and draped sides.

The overhanging cornice came into vogue early in the nineteenth century. A mirror characteristic of this date is shown in the living room at "Highfield," the Byfield home of the Adams family, built by Abraham Adams in 1703. It has a gilt frame of the ordinary picture type, and on account of its association is most interesting.

A specimen of the same period is shown in the[Pg 139] Lord house at Newton. This is decorated with the figure of a goddess sitting in a chariot drawn by two rams. The frame is of fine mahogany, with handsomely carved columns, simply ornamented.

Plate XLIV.—Oval Mirror, showing Acanthus leaves, once on Cleopatra's Barge, the first pleasure yacht built in America; Mirror, 1710, resting on ornamental knobs; Mirror, 1810, in Dudley L. Pickman House. Plate XLIV.—Oval Mirror, showing Acanthus leaves, once on Cleopatra's Barge, the first pleasure yacht built in America; Mirror, 1710, resting on ornamental knobs; Mirror, 1810, in Dudley L. Pickman House.

Other types of mirrors popular in the days of our forefathers were the mantel mirrors that came into favor early in the eighteenth century, first in England and later in America. Their greatest period of popularity was from 1760 until the commencement of the nineteenth century. Many of these glasses were oval in shape, though the majority consisted of three panels of glass separated only by narrow moldings of wood. This style was probably originated by some economical cabinet-maker who, in order to avoid the heavy expense which the purchase of large plates involved, designed these. They were most favorably received upon their introduction, and many of the old glasses to be found at the present day are of this style.

One of the most valuable of these three-piece mantel glasses is that in the drawing-room of the Pierce-Nichols house on Federal Street at Salem, the frame of which has attracted the attention of antiquarians all over the country. It was made for a bride, who in 1783 came to be mistress of[Pg 140] this old home, and it shows a finish of gold and white harmonizing admirably with the surrounding white woodwork, exquisitely carved by Samuel McIntyre, the noted wood-carver. Its principal features are slender, fluted columns twined with garlands, which fancy is repeated in the decorations of the capitals. Above the glass are two narrow panels, one of white ornamented with gilt, and the other of latticework over white. Just beneath the overhang of the cornice is a row of gilt balls, a form of decoration that came into style during the latter part of the eighteenth century, and which continued to characterize a certain class of mirrors for several decades.

Late in the nineteenth century mirrors known as bull's-eyes and girandoles came into vogue. These were circular in form, the glass usually convex, and they were made by Chippendale, the Adam Brothers, and others. The fact of their being convex rendered them impractical for common use, though it allowed for elaborate framing, and they were employed rather for ornament than for use. Looking up the old definition, we find these glasses alone have the right to be called mirrors, and that all else save "circular convex" should, properly speaking, be termed looking-glasses.[Pg 141]

One good example of this type was in the George house at Rowley, Massachusetts, now demolished. It showed a heavy gilt frame, surmounted by an eagle.

Originally, there were shown in Hamilton Hall, at Salem, two fine examples of girandoles, with glass pendants, which in the midst of lighted candles reflected myriad sparkles. Interesting, indeed, would be the tales they could tell of fair ladies in powder and patches, and courtly gallants who in the long ago gathered in this famous hall to tread the measures of the minuet! These girandoles were the gift of Mr. Cabot, and they are now replaced by simpler examples, the originals having been given to the Saltonstall family, in whose possession they still are.

Of the late colonial looking-glasses, there are two general types, the earlier dating back to about 1810 and characterized by an overhanging cornice, beneath which pendant balls or acorns are frequently found, with frames of wood carved and gilded, or painted. Further decoration is found in a panel beneath the cornice ornamented with various designs, such as a horn of plenty, floral subjects, or classical scenes.

In the later type, the cornice has disappeared,[Pg 142] and the frame as a rule is more simply ornamented. The upper panel, however, has been retained, and almost invariably it shows a painting of some sort. Until within a comparatively few years, it was not a difficult matter to secure mirrors of this type, but the recent fad for collecting old furniture has caused many of the best specimens to be purchased, and, in consequence, really good colonial mirrors are rapidly becoming scarce, and one is a treasured possession.

The Kittredge house at North Andover, Massachusetts, shows several fine examples of this later type, and other examples are to be found in the Lord house at Newton, and in several Salem residences. These show a great variety of panels, ranging from pastoral scenes to horns of plenty, and from ships to simple baskets of flowers.

It is interesting to note, in connection with these old-time mirrors, the influence of the period reflected in the framing, and also how graphically the frame depicts the social life of its date of manufacture, and the country in which it was designed. There is a marked flamboyancy in the Venetian designs of the early eighteenth century, changed in the middle of the same century to a heavy splendor and inartistic grandeur. England, slightly earlier,[Pg 143] gave examples of fruit which many think were designed by Gibbon, but which materially lack the freedom of his work.

Scrolls and angles, arabesques and medallions, belong to the second half of the eighteenth century. Many such came to New England, and one of these mirrors is still seen in a Salem home. Its decorations hint of the influence of the Renaissance, and it shows medallions decorated with grotesque figures on either side of the upper panel.

Plate XLV.—Mirror, 1770; Lafayette Courting Mirror, Osgood Collection; Empire Mirror, 1810. Plate XLV.—Mirror, 1770; Lafayette Courting Mirror, Osgood Collection; Empire Mirror, 1810.

Perhaps as interesting as any of the old mirrors is the Lafayette mirror, one excellent example of which is seen in the Osgood house at Salem. This is small in size, surmounted with a painting of Lafayette, and is one of a great number designed in compliment to the beloved Frenchman's visit to Salem in 1784. It is known as the Courtney Mirror.

Many of the fine old specimens to be seen in Salem were brought to New England at the time of the old seaport town's commercial glory, about the period of the Revolution, and previous to the restrictions following the War of 1812. These were halcyon days in Salem, "before the great tide of East India trade had ebbed away, leaving Derby Street stranded, its great wharves given over[Pg 144] to rats and the slow lap of the water among the dull green piles."

Probably there are few of these old-time mirrors but have been connected with interesting traditions and events, and it seems a pity that their histories have never been compiled, but have been allowed to pass unrecorded, leaving the imagination to conjure up scenes of joy and sorrow that have been reflected in their depths. Still, for all their unwritten stories each and every one possesses a glamor of mystery that makes the work of collecting them most fascinating. The personal note so prevalent in nearly all workmanship of past centuries is particularly noticeable in the looking-glass, and perhaps it is this very attribute more than anything else that lends so great a degree of charm and attractiveness to them.[Pg 145]



There is something quaintly pathetic about an old colonial clock. Its sociability appeals to all home lovers, as it cheerily ticks the hours away, with a regularity that is almost human.

The first clocks, if so they might be called, were composed of two bowls connected by an opening through which water trickled, drop by drop, from one to the other. Next came a simple contrivance consisting of a greased wick tied into knots. The smoldering of the lighted wick determined the flight of time.

The first clock, which was made in 807, was given as a present to the Emperor Claudius. It was a small clock of bronze inlaid with gold, and was fitted with twelve small doors. Each one of these opened at a given time, and allowed tiny balls to roll out, differing in number according to the hour represented. Promptly at the strike of twelve, toy horsemen came prancing out, and closed every open door. This was a marvel of[Pg 146] clock-making that attracted a great deal of attention.

In 1335, a monk, Peter Lightfoot by name, constructed a wonderful clock, which he presented to Glastonbury Abbey. During the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, many and varied kinds of clocks were made, and we are assured that this was a successful venture, even in the early ages, from the fact that in 1500 a clock-makers' union was formed.

To one who is interested in the history of clocks, there is no better place to view them than in Europe, where the most skilled clock-makers lived during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Marseilles, Exeter, and Westminster Abbey are the homes of some of the most wonderful clocks in the world.

Some of the most beautiful of these were made by Chippendale and Sheraton, the former manufacturing specimens that stood nine feet high and measured twenty-five inches across. On the door, was placed a reliable thermometer, while on the inner circle, the signs of the Zodiac were marked, the outer circle showing the movable features by means of a sliding ring.

The manufacture of clocks in America began[Pg 147] early in the eighteenth century. Among the earliest clock-makers was one Benjamin Bagnall, who learned his trade in England and settled in Boston in 1712. A record of a meeting of the selectmen of the town on August 13, 1717, reads: "that Mr. Joseph Wadsworth, William Welstead, Esq., and Habijah Savage, Esq., be desired to treat with Mr. Benjamin Bagnall about making a Town Clock," and according to the record in September of that year he was paid for it.

The earliest Bagnall clock on record is of the Pendulum type, in a tall case of pine; on the inside of the lower door was written: "This clock put up January 10, 1722." Another, very similar to this type, belongs to the New England Historical Genealogical Society of Boston. The case, though plain, is handsome and unusual, being made of solid black walnut. Most of the cases, however, were made of pine, veneered. The use of this wood was characteristic of old American-made cases, while those of old English make were veneered on oak.

A particularly fine Bagnall clock is in the Hosmer collection at Hartford, Connecticut. It is a black walnut veneer on pine. A peculiarity of the Bagnall make is the small dial, only twelve[Pg 148] inches square. Above the dial is an arched extension, silvered and engraved with the name of the maker. Samuel Bagnall, son of Benjamin, has left a few good clocks, thought to be equal to the work of his father.

The clocks of Enos Doolittle, another colonial maker, are not numerous enough to give him a prominent place among the great manufacturers. Nevertheless, he deserves much praise for the few good clocks which he has left behind. One of them is at Hartford, Doolittle's native town. The case is of beautifully carved cherry, ornamented with pilasters on the sides of the case and face; the top of the case is richly ornamented with scrolls and carvings. A circular plate above the dial has the legend "Enos Doolittle, Hartford."

Plate XLVI.—Willard Banjo Clock, 1802; Banjo Clock, 1804; Willard Banjo Clock, 1802. Plate XLVI.—Willard Banjo Clock, 1802; Banjo Clock, 1804; Willard Banjo Clock, 1802.

There were many small clock-makers in colonial days, one, we might say, in every town, who left a few examples of their work; but none of them left the number or quality produced by the great clock-makers, the Willards. Benjamin Willard, who had shops in Boston, Roxbury, and Grafton, made a specialty of the musical clock, which he advertised as playing a tune a day and a psalm tune on Sundays. Aaron Willard, a brother, made tall, striking clocks. One of his productions,[Pg 149] owned by Dr. G. Faulkner of Boston, has run for over one hundred and twenty years. On the inside of the case is written: "The first short timepiece made in America, 1784." It is a departure from the ordinary Aaron Willard clock, because it is so short. The case of mahogany stands only twenty-six inches high; and there are scroll feet, turning back. A separate upper part, with ogre feet, which can be lifted off, contains the movements. Simon Willard, another brother, in 1802 patented the "Improved timepiece" which later was known as the "banjo" because of its resemblance in shape to that instrument. The "banjo" which Willard manufactured had a convex glass door over the face, a slim waist with brass ornaments running parallel to the curve of the box, and a rectangular base, which was sometimes built with legs for a shelf, sometimes with an ornamental bracket on the bottom, in which case the clock was intended for the wall. The construction of these clocks was simple; the works were of brass, and capable of running eight or nine days. There was no strike, but this clock was a favorite, because of its accuracy.

Hardly less famous than the Willards was Eli[Pg 150] Terry, born April, 1773, in East Windsor, Connecticut. Before he was twenty-one, he was recognized as having unusual ingenuity at clock-making. He had learned the trade from Thomas Harland, a well-known clock-maker of the times, had constructed a few old-fashioned hanging clocks and sold them in his own town. He moved to Plymouth and continued to make clocks, working alone till 1800, when he hired a few assistants. He would start about a dozen movements at a time, cutting the wheels and teeth with saw and jack-knife. Each year he made a few trips through the surrounding country, carrying three or four clock movements which he sold for about twenty-five dollars apiece.

Felt tells in his annals that "in 1770, Joseph Hiller moved from Boston to Salem and took a shop opposite the courthouse on the exchange." Later on, in 1789, we learn that Samuel Mullikin made an agreement to barter clocks for both English and West Indies goods, and also in exchange for country produce. So popular did they become that we learn that in 1844 there were in Salem ten clock-makers and eleven jewelers all working at this trade.

While the colonists still imported many of their[Pg 151] clocks, yet in 1800 clock-making had become such a thriving industry that wooden cases were constantly being made, the manufacture of the works being a separate field.

Plate XLVII.—English Grandfather's Clock, William Dean Howells; Collection of Old Clocks, property of Mr. Mills, Saugus, Mass.; Grandfather's Clock, formerly owned by President Franklin Pierce. Property of Mrs. Charles Stark. Plate XLVII.—English Grandfather's Clock, William Dean Howells; Collection of Old Clocks, property of Mr. Mills, Saugus, Mass.; Grandfather's Clock, formerly owned by President Franklin Pierce. Property of Mrs. Charles Stark.

One of the most interesting is a tall grandfather's clock, showing the moon above the face, at the Stark house in Dunbarton. This clock formerly stood in the old Governor Pierce mansion at Hillsboro. It is very handsome, showing fine inlaid work on the case.

Varied in shape and size were the numerous clocks which were found in colonial homes in New England. They ranged from the tall grandfather's clock to the smaller wall and bracket pieces. One kind that was in use, though rarely seen to-day, is the table clock, a type highly prized by the colonists, and recorded as a fine timekeeper.

By the early nineteenth century we find the making of American clocks had become so universal that they were to be found not only in many New England houses, but throughout the South and Middle states as well. Many of the rarest and oldest were at the plantation manors of Virginia and Kentucky as well as in New England.

There are to-day in many houses colonial[Pg 152] clocks valued not only for their worth, but for association's sake. One of these is in the home of Mr. John Albree at Swampscott, Massachusetts. It is considered one of the oldest of its kind in the United States, and was brought from England in the year 1635 by one John Albree, and has been in the family ever since. It is known as the weaver's clock, and has one hand only. These clocks are very rare, only a very few being known of.

Singularly enough, few people, even those who are the most interested in clocks and their making, know much about their early history and construction. The purchase of a clock at the present time means not only the case, but the entire works as well. It was, however, far different in the early days, at least while the tall clocks were so popular. Transportation was difficult, so the clock peddlers contented themselves by slinging half a dozen clock movements over the saddle and starting out to find purchasers. After the works were purchased, and the family felt they had twenty pounds to spare, they called in a local cabinet-maker, and often the whole of the amount went into the making of the case. Naturally, a certain-shaped case was made to fit a certain movement,[Pg 153] so that definite types of clocks were found, but it must be remembered that the case gave no indication of the period of the maker of the movements.

Plate XLVIII.—General Stephen Abbot Clock; Terry Shelf Clock, 1824; English Clock, with Ball ornamentation. Plate XLVIII.—General Stephen Abbot Clock; Terry Shelf Clock, 1824; English Clock, with Ball ornamentation.

One of the first types of clocks made in America was the wall clock. This was set on a shelf through which slits were cut for the pendulum and weight cords to fall. These were known as "lantern," "bird cage," or "wag-at-the-wall," later replaced by the more imposing "Grandfather," which served a double duty as timekeeper and as one of the "show pieces" of furniture.

The first known Terry clock was made in 1792. It was built with a long, handsome case and with a silver-plated dial, engraved with Terry's name. This clock, just as it was when Eli Terry set it going for the first time with all the pride which he must have had in his first accomplishment, is now in the possession of the Terry family.

There was an interesting clock of this type in the General Stephen Abbot house on Federal Street, Salem, and another is still in the possession of Mr. Henry Mills of Saugus, Massachusetts.

Terry introduced a patent shelf clock, with a short case. This made the clock much more marketable, because it was short enough to allow of easy transportation and at the same time[Pg 154] offered the inducement of a well-made and inexpensive case.

The patent shelf clock was a surprise to the rivals of Terry, because this change in construction had produced an absolutely new and improved model,—an unheard-of thing in clock making. The conservatism before shown by the colonial makers had stunted the growth of clock improvements in many ways, hence Terry's new invention produced a sensation.

The change was such as to allow the play of weights on each side and the whole length of the case. The placing of the pendulum, crown wheel, and verge in front of the wheels, and between the dial and the movement, was another space-saving device, as was also the changing of the dial wheels from the outside to the inside of the movement plates. The escapement was transferred by hanging the verge on a steel pin, instead of on a long, heavy shaft inside the plates. This allowed the clock to be fastened to the case in back, making the pendulum accessible by removing only the dial. Thus Terry fairly revolutionized small-clock making, by introducing a new form, more compact, more serviceable, and cheaper than any of the older makes.[Pg 155]

In 1807 Terry bought an old mill in Plymouth and fitted it up so as to make his clocks by machinery. About this time several Waterbury men associated themselves to supply Terry with the materials, if he would make the clocks. With this steady income from machine-made clocks, and the profits from extra sales, he made, in a very short time, what was then considered quite a fortune.

In 1808 he started five hundred clocks at once,—an undertaking which was considered foolhardy. People argued that there weren't enough people in the colonies to buy so many clocks, but nevertheless the clocks sold rapidly. In 1810 Terry sold out to Seth Thomas and Silas Hoadley, two of his head workmen. The new company was a leader in colonial clock manufacturing for a number of years, until competition brought the prices of clocks down to five and ten dollars.

All these years Terry had been experimenting, and in 1814 he introduced his pillar scroll top case. This upset the clock trade to such an extent that the old-fashioned hanging, wooden clocks, which hitherto had been the leading type, were forced out of existence. The shape of the scroll top case is rectangular, the case, with[Pg 156] small feet and top, standing about twenty-five inches high. On the front edges of the case are pillars, twenty-one inches long, three quarters of an inch in diameter at the base, and three eighths at the top, having, as a rule, square bases. The dial, which takes up a half or more of the whole front, is eleven inches square, while below is a tablet about seven by eleven inches. The dial is not over-ornamental and has suitable spandrels in the corners. The scroll top is found plain as well as highly carved, but always the idea of the scroll is present.

Terry sold the right to manufacture the clock to Seth Thomas for a thousand dollars. At first they each made about six thousand clocks a year, but later increased the output to twelve thousand. The clocks were great favorites and sold easily for fifteen dollars each.

Another conservatism of the colonial clock-makers was the sharp division which they made between the use of wood and brass in the manufacture of the movements. The one-day clocks were made of wood throughout, and this prevented their use on water or even their exportation, because the works would swell in the dampness and render the clock useless. The eight-day[Pg 157] clocks were made of brass, but the extra cost of the movements sufficient to make the clock run eight days excluded many people, who had to remain content with the one-day clock.

It was not till 1837 that it occurred to any of these ingenious makers of timepieces to produce a one-day clock out of brass. To Chauncey Jerome, the first exporter of clocks from America to England in the year 1824, the honor was reserved of applying the principle of the cheap wire pinion to the brass, one-day clock. Thus began the revolution of American clock manufacturing, which has placed this country before all the world as a leader in cheap and accurate watch and clock making.

The whirr and bustle of hundreds of factories of to-day, which manufacture watches and clocks at an output of thousands per year, is a strong contrast to the slow and laborious construction of the old colonial clocks. And not only is there a contrast in their manufacture, but when one compares the finished products of the year 1700 and 1900 side by side, one is conscious of conflicting emotions. There is naturally a decided feeling of admiration for the artistically designed timepiece of the twentieth century on the one[Pg 158] hand, and, on the other, an irresistibly sentimental sensation when standing before a dignified, ancient, tall clock, on the door of which one reads:—

"I am old and worn as my face appears,
For I have walked on time for a hundred years,
Many have fallen since my race began,
Many will fall ere my race is run.
I have buried the World with its hopes and fears
In my long, long march of a hundred years."
[Pg 159]



Since the introduction of gas and electric light, the old-time lamp has ceased to be a necessity, though in many instances it still does service as the receptacle for the gas jet or electric bulb. Likewise, candlesticks and candelabra are still in use, not, of course, as necessities, as they were a century ago, but yet doing efficient service in the homes of people who realize that the soft glow of the candle affords an artistic touch that nothing else can give. Undeniably, there is a peculiar fascination about candlelight that few can resist, and in whatever room it is used, that room is benefited through its attractiveness.

It is only when harking back that one realizes the strides that have been made in house lighting. In the early days, when the country was new, the only light was firelight, candlewood, or pine torches. To be sure, there was always the punched lantern, hung on the wall ready for use[Pg 160] at a moment's notice, but this was for outside rather than inside lighting.

The earliest artificial light used by the colonist was candlewood, or pine torches. These torches were cut from trees in near-by forests, and were in reality short sections of dry, pitch-pine log from the heart of the wood, cut into thin strips, eight inches in length. The resinous quality of the wood caused these little splinters to burn like torches, hence their name. The drippings from them were caught on flat stones, which were laid just inside the fireplace; and to make a brighter light several torches were burned at one time, their steady flame, combined with the flickering blaze of the roaring logs, casting into the room just enough light by which to accomplish the simple tasks which had to be performed after nightfall.

Even this rude means of lighting was not available in some homes, for it is not uncommon to read in old chronicles of lessons being learned by the light of the fire only. While such a state of affairs would be looked upon as a calamity to-day, it was not without compensation, for the merry flames of the huge logs, as they flickered and danced on the hearth, cast a cheerful light on the closed[Pg 161] shutters, and against the brown walls, much to the delight of the little ones, who, seated on rude benches close at hand, threw hickory shavings into the fire to make it flame faster, or poked the great backlog with the long iron peel to make the sparks fly upward.

Candlewood fagots were in use throughout New England until the early part of the eighteenth century, and it was customary each fall to cut enough wood to supply the family demand for a year. In some Northern states, these fagots were commonly used until 1820, while in the South they are used in a few sections even to-day, being often carried in the hand like a lantern.

When candles were first used here, they were imported from England, but their cost was so high that they were prohibitive save for festive occasions. The scarcity of domestic animals in the new land barred their being killed save for meat, and thus was lost an opportunity for candle making that was seriously felt. Some people, including Governors Winthrop and Higginson, in 1620 sent to England for supplies of tallow or suet to make their own candles, but the majority had to be content with candlewood. These first candles were fashioned without wicks, being provided[Pg 162] instead with pith taken from the common rush and generally known as rush light,—a lighting which possessed disadvantages, inasmuch as it burned but dimly and lasted but a short time. Even in 1634 we find that candles could not be bought for less than fourpence apiece,—a price above the limited purses of the majority. Fortunately, the rivers were abundantly stocked with fish, and these were caught and killed, and their livers tried out for oil. This oil, which was crude, was principally used in lanterns, the wicks being made of loosely spun hemp and tow, often dipped in saltpeter.

Plate XLIX.—Whale Oil Lamps with Wicks; Mantel Lamps, 1815; Paul and Virginia Candelabra. Plate XLIX.—Whale Oil Lamps with Wicks; Mantel Lamps, 1815; Paul and Virginia Candelabra.

The earliest lamp was a saucer filled with oil, and having in the center a twisted rag. This rude form of wick was used for over a century. Then came the Betty lamp, a shallow receptacle, in form either circular, oval, or triangular, and made of pewter, iron, or brass. Filled with oil, it had for a wick the twisted rag, which was stuck into the oil and left protruding at one side. This type came into use before the invention of matches, and was lighted by flint and steel, or by a live coal.

A most unique specimen of the early lamp is seen in a Salem home. It stands about six inches[Pg 163] high, with a circumference of about twelve inches, and is an inch thick. It is made of iron, showing a liplike pitcher, while at the back is a curved handle. It is arranged to be filled with oil, and the wick is the twisted rag, which rests on the nose. Tradition relates that this lamp was used at the time of the witchcraft delusion, to light the unfortunate prisoners to jail.

When whale-fishing became the pursuit of the colonists, an addition to the lighting requisites was discovered in the form of sperm secured from the head of the whale. This proved very valuable in the manufacture of candles, which gave a much brighter light than the older type. So popular did this oil become that in 1762 a factory was established at Germantown, at that time a part of Quincy, to manufacture sperm oil from its crude state; and candles made from this oil were later sold in Salem by one John Appleton.

At this period, candle making was a home industry, being included in the fall work of every good housewife. At candle season, two large kettles, half filled with water, were hung on the long iron crane over the roaring fire in the kitchen, and in this the tallow was melted, having to be scalded twice before it was ready for use. Across[Pg 164] large poles placed on the back of two chairs, smaller ones, known as candle rods, were laid, and to each one of these was attached a wick. Each wick in turn was dipped into the boiling tallow and then set away to cool. This way of making candles was slow and tedious, and it required skill to cool them without cracking, though an experienced candle-maker could easily fashion two hundred a day.

Bayberry candles, so much in favor to-day, were also made in early times. The berries were gathered in the fall, and thrown into boiling water, the scum carefully removed as it formed. At first a dirty green color was secured, but as the wax refined, the coloring changed to a delicate, soft green. Candles of this type were not so plentiful as those of tallow, for the berries emitted but little fat, and they were therefore carefully treasured by their makers. To-day these candles are the most popular of all makes, emitting a pungent odor as they burn, but their cost sometimes makes them prohibitive. Instead of the housewife always attending to this tedious task, it was sometimes performed by a person who went from house to house, making the winter's supply of bayberry candles. It was customary[Pg 165] for every housekeeper in those days to have quantities of these in her storeroom, often as many as a thousand.

With the increase in sheep, many were killed, and the tallow obtained used for candle making. Such candles were provided with wicks made from loosely spun hemp, four or five inch lengths being suspended from each candle rod. The number of wicks used depended largely on the size of the kettle of boiling water and tallow. First the wicks were very carefully straightened, and then dipped into the tallow, and when cold this process was repeated until the candle had attained the right shape. Great care had to be exercised in this respect, and also that the tallow was kept hot, the wicks straight, and that the wicks were not dipped too deep in the boiling tallow. In drying, care was taken lest they dry too quickly or too slowly, and also that a board was placed underneath to catch the drippings. These drippings, when cool, were scratched from the board and used over.

The introduction of candle molds lessened the task of candle making to a great extent, and, in addition, secured a better-shaped candle, and one that burned longer than the old dip type. With[Pg 166] their advent came into vogue professional candle-makers, men who traveled all over the country, taking with them large molds. In two days' time, so rapidly did they work, they could make the entire stock for a family's winter supply. These candles, when complete, were very carefully packed away in wooden boxes to insure safety from mice. They were a jolly set of men, these candle-makers, who pursued the work for love of the roving life it afforded, as well as for the money it netted. They came equipped with the latest gossip, and their presence was a boon to the tired house mother, whose duties did not allow of much social intercourse.

Ordinarily, candles were very sparingly used, but on festive occasions they were often burned in great quantities. At Hamilton Hall, in Salem, built at a cost of twenty-two thousand dollars, this mode of lighting was a feature, and in the early part of the nineteenth century, when the hall was the scene of the old assemblies, it was lighted by innumerable candles and whale-oil lamps, so many being required to properly illumine it that it took John Remond, Salem's noted caterer of that period, several days to prepare them for use. In those days, informal parties[Pg 167] were much in vogue, commencing promptly at six and closing promptly at twelve, even if in the midst of a dance. The dances then enjoyed were of the contra type, waltzes and polkas being at that day unknown. The gentlemen at these gay assemblies came dressed in Roger de Coverley coats, small-clothes, and silken stockings, while the ladies were arrayed in picturesque velvets and satins, the popular fabrics of the period.

Plate L.—Astral Lamps, 1778; English brass branching Candlestick, showing Lions. Plate L.—Astral Lamps, 1778; English brass branching Candlestick, showing Lions.

Candlesticks seem always to have been considered a part of the house furnishings in America, for we find accounts of them in the earliest records of the colonies. Many of these were brought from England, and in colonial dwellings still standing we find excellent specimens still preserved. The first candlesticks extensively used here were rudely fashioned of iron and tin, being among the first articles of purely domestic manufacture found in New England. Later, with the building of more pretentious homes, candlesticks made of brass, pewter, and silver came into vogue, the brass ones being the most commonly used, as well as candelabra, and in the homes of the wealthier class were found brass wall sconces that were imported from London and France.

Plate LI.—Colonial Mantel Lamp; Single bedroom brass Candlestick; Sheffield Plate Candlesticks. Plate LI.—Colonial Mantel Lamp; Single bedroom brass Candlestick; Sheffield Plate Candlesticks.

A particularly fine pair of these sconces is[Pg 168] found in the Osgood house on Chestnut Street, Salem. Here the brass filigree work is in the form of a lyre encircled with a laurel wreath, and surmounted by the head of Apollo. The tree branches curve gracefully outward from the wreath and below the lyre.

In the early part of the eighteenth century, snuffers and snuffer boats, as the trays in which the candlesticks rested were known, came into use. These were sometimes of plain design, and sometimes fanciful, made either of brass or silver. Pewter was also used for this purpose, and later it became a favorite metal for the manufacture of hall lamps and candlesticks.

Plate LII.—Pierced, or Paul Revere Lantern; Old Hand Lantern; English Silver Candlesticks; Brass Branching Candlesticks, Chippendale, 1760. Plate LII.—Pierced, or Paul Revere Lantern; Old Hand Lantern; English Silver Candlesticks; Brass Branching Candlesticks, Chippendale, 1760.

Lanterns next came into style and were a prominent feature of the hallway furnishing. Many of these were gilded and many were painted, and their greatest period of popularity was during the first part of the eighteenth century. About 1750 the first glass lamps came into favor. These were not like those of a later period, being very simple in form, and not particularly graceful.

In 1782 a Frenchman, named Argand, introduced the lamp which still bears his name. This marked the beginning of the lamp era, and while at first these lamps were so high in price that they[Pg 169] could only be afforded by the wealthier classes, later they were produced at a more reasonable figure, when they came into general use.

The last half of the eighteenth century marked the adoption of magnificent chandeliers, many of which are still preserved. One such is found in the Warner house at Portsmouth, in the parlor at the right of the wide old hall, a room wherein have assembled many notable gatherings, for the Hon. Jonathan Warner was a generous host. This specimen is among the finest in the country, and is in keeping with the other fine old-time fittings.

About the beginning of the nineteenth century, candelabra and lamps with glass prisms were much used, some of them very simple in design, being little more than a plain stick with a few prisms attached, while others were very elaborate. Many of these candlesticks and candelabra are still preserved, together with the other old-time lights. In a Jamaica Plain home are some very valuable specimens of lighting fixtures that once stood on the mantel in the Sprague House on Essex Street, Salem, having been brought to this country by the first owner at the time the dwelling was being furnished for his bride.

With Fashion's decree that lamps and candelabra[Pg 170] should be hung with cut-glass prisms, they attained great popularity, and sets of three came to be regular ornaments of the carved mantelpieces. These sets consisted of a three-pronged candelabrum for the middle, and a single stick on either side. The stand was of marble, while the standards were of gilt. At the base of each candle a brass ornament, like an inverted crown, supported the sparkling prisms, which jingled and caught rainbow reflections at every slight quiver. In the lamps, frequently the side portions were of bronze, the lamp for holding the oil being surrounded by prisms which depended from the central standard. The flaring chimneys of ground glass softened and shaded the light, while they also kept it from flickering in case of sudden draughts.

Up to the year 1837, flint and steel were the only mode of ignition, and their long association with old-time lights makes them an intimate part of them. At first both flint and steel were very crudely made, but later on, some of the steels were very ornamental. With them was used a tinder box, with its store of charred linen to catch the tiny flame as it leaped toward the steel, and this, too, must be considered in the review of old-time lights.[Pg 171]

Examples of these and the old forms of lighting are found in every part of New England and throughout the South, though perhaps the largest collection in any single section is found in Salem, the home of excellent examples of all things colonial. As one views them, he cannot but be impressed with their quaintness, and while no doubt he is thankful for the strides in science that have made possible the brilliant illumination of the present, yet in his heart he must acknowledge that the present lights, though in many instances undeniably beautiful, lack the charm of the old-time types.[Pg 172]



China constituted an important part of the household equipment in colonial days, and while not as antique as pewter and wooden ware, it outrivaled both in beauty and popular favor. Its daintiness of coloring, variety of make, and exquisiteness of texture afforded a welcome change from the somber-colored and little varied ware hitherto used; and its fragility proved of wondrous interest to the careful housewife, causing her to bestow upon it her tenderest care and to zealously guard it against harm, since it was her delight to boast that her sets were intact. To-day it is equally appreciated, and it is displayed on the shelves of built-in cupboards, with all the pride of possession exhibited by its original owners.

Plate LIII.—Peacock Plate of Delft, very rare; Decorated Salt Glaze Plate, about 1780. Plate LIII.—Peacock Plate of Delft, very rare; Decorated Salt Glaze Plate, about 1780.

Old cupboards are somehow always associated with old china in this country, and in most instances they are worthy of the admiration in which they are held. In colonial times, cupboards formed a decorative feature of the house furnishings,[Pg 173] and they were fashioned with as much regard for shape and finish as the rooms in which they were to be placed. In time they came to be considered almost indispensable adjuncts, and with their increase in favor, their development became marked. Perhaps the finest type is that with the shell top, some excellent examples of which are still preserved, notably in the Brown Inn at Hamilton and in the Dummer house at Byfield, Massachusetts.

Plate LIV.—Liverpool Pitcher, showing Salem Ship; Old Chelsea Ware; Canton China Teapot; Wedgwood, with Rose decoration. Very rare. Plate LIV.—Liverpool Pitcher, showing Salem Ship; Old Chelsea Ware; Canton China Teapot; Wedgwood, with Rose decoration. Very rare.
Plate LV.—Gold Luster Pitcher; Staffordshire Pitcher with Rose decoration; Peacock Delft Pitcher; Jasper Ware Wedgwood Pitcher. Blue and White. Plate LV.—Gold Luster Pitcher; Staffordshire Pitcher with Rose decoration; Peacock Delft Pitcher; Jasper Ware Wedgwood Pitcher. Blue and White.

Of all the old wares used here, salt glaze is most rarely found, most collections including not even a single specimen. This is probably due in a great measure to its fragility; it is not owing to its scarcity of import, as large quantities of this ware were brought here in early times. Examples now found are principally of Staffordshire manufacture, made between 1760 and 1780, though much of the ware that was made about 1720, belonging to the so-called second period, was shipped here.

A study of all forms of salt glaze is of interest, but that of English manufacture is of most importance to American collectors, for it is that type that the colonists imported, and with which American collections are most closely associated.

The process of salt glaze manufacture was known[Pg 174] in England as early as 1660, and a familiar legend as to its origin was that it was accidentally discovered through the boiling over of a kettle of brine, the salt running down the outside of the earthen pot, and, when cold, hardening upon it, forming a glaze. This theory has been discredited by later scientists, and it is not unlikely that it was the invention of some imaginary individual, but however that may be, the ware in itself is of unusual attractiveness, and records show that upon its introduction into Staffordshire, it superseded in favor the dull lead glaze.

The first ware finished by this method was coarse and brown, a type that remained in vogue until the early years of the eighteenth century, when a gray ware was produced. Some of this latter found its way to America, but the type most familiar here is that manufactured in the closing years of the eighteenth century,—a ware with a white or nearly white body, thin and graceful in contour, and characterized by a very hard saline glaze.

Pepper pots, soup tureens, plates, and pitchers were among the most common pieces manufactured, though teapots in various shapes, bottles, vases, etc., were also made. Some of these pieces have a plain center and decorated border, while others show an entirely decorated surface.[Pg 175]

Plate LVI.—The Shepherd Toby, one of the rarest Tobies; English Toby. Very old; Very old Toby, showing Cocked Hat. Plate LVI.—The Shepherd Toby, one of the rarest Tobies; English Toby. Very old; Very old Toby, showing Cocked Hat.

Another output of the Staffordshire factories, now much valued here, are the old toby jugs, many excellent examples of which were brought here and have been carefully preserved. In their way they are as interesting as the finest china bits, their gay coloring and quaint shape affording a striking contrast to the delicately tinted and daintily shaped Lowestoft and like wares.

The first tobies were in reality scarcely more than hollow figures to which a handle had been attached, but as time went on they grew more and more like mugs, and while at first the cap or hat lifted off, forming a cover, the succeeding style had the hat incorporated into the mug.

Tobies are broadly classed as Staffordshire, and while this is probably true of a large portion, Dutch and German tobies as well as French ones are not uncommon. A supposed example of the last named is included in the Page collection at Lynn, and is known as the Napoleon toby. It is thought to be French from the fact that the likeness of the little corporal is not a caricature. English potters delighted to depict Bonaparte, but they seldom gave him the attractive countenance of this jug. They made him tall and thin, or short and abnormally fat, and they decked him in queer clothes,[Pg 176] and labeled him "Boney." This jug depicts Napoleon in a very pleasant guise, suave of countenance and very well dressed. There is a smoothness of texture and finish about the work which marks it as distinct from the English tobies, which unfortunately frequently lacked these desirable qualities.

English tobies are sometimes classified as young and old tobies. The terms are expressive, for the young toby is a figure standing, as if full of vigor and life, with a jovial, happy-go-lucky expression, while the old toby is represented seated, with a worldly-wise face that has the appearance of having experienced life to the fullest. Both types always carry a mug in one hand, or both hands, from which a foaming liquid is about to issue. The coloring of the old toby is principally yellow, while the young toby is a combination of brown and yellow. Of course, both these colorings are varied with others.

Tobies show considerable variety in modeling and decoration. Some are jovial in appearance, others placid, and still others leering. In fact, every kind of a toby is represented, except a dry one. In addition to depicting the figures of human beings, some tobies represented animals, and not a[Pg 177] few were in the form of teapots. The latter were generally finished in blue, with a band of green and a bit of copper luster, and in height they varied from twelve to eighteen inches.

Although these drinking mugs were made in many factories, none bear hallmarks, save those made at Bennington, and, in consequence, those are more highly prized by connoisseurs. A unique specimen among the output of this factory has no mug in the hand, the arms being arranged close to the body, which has the appearance of having no arms at all.

Delft ware, which is at the present time enjoying great favor among collectors, made the country where it originated famous, and its history is in reality the history of Holland's commercial rise.

Besides its age, old Delft has the charm of individuality. As the designs were handworked, the ware lacks the precision in drawing that later stamped pieces have, and shows softened outlines instead of sharply defined pictures. Nor is old Delft ware so intense in coloring as its descendants of to-day. Comparing them side by side on a plate rail, or hanging on the wall, old Delft is told by its soft, beautiful blue. Then there is the charm of association. Coming from a nation of[Pg 178] thrift and exemplary housekeeping, Delft, much more than fragile glass, aristocratic china, or curious foreign objects, appeals to the collector as a cheerful, comfortable, homelike thing to collect.

There are undoubtedly many good specimens in this country to-day, but many more are inaccessible. Connecticut, as well as New England generally, has considerable, for the merchant princes who brought so many other treasures to Eastern ports brought also Delft. How much more of this charming old ware is hidden under peaked roofs of story-and-a-half farmhouses in some of the old Dutch settlements along the Hudson and on Long Island, is unknown, but perhaps we shall know in another generation or so.

Among our specimens we find more of the English than the Dutch Delft. The latter, which is the original ware, took its name from the town of Delft, where the ware was first produced, and which, for several centuries, continued to be the chief center of the Delft industry. Although it was probably made as early as the latter part of the fifteenth century, but little is known of it until about one hundred years later. Its origin was an attempt on the part of Dutch potters to imitate, in a cheaper form, Chinese and Japanese wares. At that time[Pg 179] were made large importations of Eastern wares, and Holland, as the only European power allowed a port by Japan, had a great variety of types to copy. The first potteries were established at Delft about the year 1600, and almost from its inception the industry was protected by a trust. For nearly one hundred and fifty years, the protection of this trust or "Guild of St. Luke" made Delft an important manufacturing center, giving employment to nearly one twelfth of its inhabitants. The best examples of this old Dutch Delft are beautiful copies of Chinese and Japanese porcelain, which are hardly distinguishable from the Oriental.

A fact worth noting in connection with the rapid rise and great popularity of Delft is that the combination or Guild which was instrumental in the prosperity of the industry was also at least partly responsible for its downfall. In Holland, an independent maker could not flourish, but the progressive English made it very well worth while for workmen to emigrate.

There was another and perhaps more potent factor in the decline of the Dutch Delft industry; the very success of Delft potters became their ruin. The market was glutted with their products, and there ceased to be the same demand[Pg 180] for it as formerly. Gradually, the English ware, made of better clay, although cheaper in price, supplanted the Dutch ware, even in Holland, and as early as 1760 the struggle for existence began among the Dutch potteries. Of the thirty establishments existing in the beginning of the century, only eight were working in 1808, and most of these soon after stopped.

The most common pieces made, in point of numbers, were the Delft plates. Some excellent examples of these are found in the Page collection at Newburyport, one, a peacock plate, being a good example of Dutch Delft in one of its most popular patterns. Another shows the design of a basket of flowers, and this same adornment is on an old English platter, a piece that deserves not only a compliment to its beauty, but also a tribute to its Dutch-English durability, since within a few years it has been used to hold all of a New England boiled dinner.

Delft tile was produced almost as commonly as plates, although at first it was used to illustrate many designs essentially Dutch, and also religious subjects. It is on record that the Boston News Letter of 1716 advertised the first sale of "Fine Holland Tile" in America, and in that same paper,[Pg 181] three years later, is a notice of "Dutch Tile for Chimney." From that date on, all through the century, one may find recurring advertisements of chimney tiles, on the arrival of every foreign ship. They must have been imported in vast numbers in the aggregate, and they were not expensive, yet they are rare in New England.

Americans have always been patrons of Delft ware, and as a result a representative lot of the very best types is found here, and while it is to be regretted that the old tiles are not included in any great numbers in this list, yet those preserved are eminently satisfactory.

An English writer has said that controversy always makes a subject interesting. Lowestoft was already so enchanting a topic that the searchlight of exposition was scarcely needed to reveal additional charms.

Of the several wares that have been labeled Lowestoft, there seem to be four distinct varieties. There is the Simon-pure, soft-paste, Lowestoft china, made and decorated in the town of Lowestoft; there is the so-called Lowestoft, which is purely Oriental, being both made and decorated in China; there is probably ware made in China and decorated in Lowestoft; and there is probably[Pg 182] ware made in Holland and decorated in Lowestoft. All of these may bear the printed name of the town, since members of the company which traded in them resided at that place. Doubt has been cast upon every one of these four wares, but the first two, at least, seem to be cleared of all uncertainty.

For the last half of the eighteenth century, a factory existed at Lowestoft. This is true, beyond the shadow of a doubt. It was, however, a small factory, employing at its best but seventy hands, and having but one oven and one kiln. It is simply impossible that great quantities of hard-glaze porcelain should have been brought from overseas, to be decorated, and then fired in this one small kiln. If the whole output charged up to Lowestoft had been really hers, the factory must needs have been the largest in England, which it certainly was not.

The first ware produced was of a dingy white, coarse, and semi-opaque. The glaze was slightly "blued" with cobalt, and speckled with bubbles and minute black spots, which seemed to show careless firing. When viewed by transmitted light, the pieces had a distinctly yellowish tinge. There was never any distinctive mark, as in the case of Crown Derby.[Pg 183]

About 1790 a change for the better took place in the character of the ware. Certain French refugees, driven from their own country by the lawlessness of the great Revolution, began to come into England. One of these men, who was named Rose, obtained employment at the Lowestoft works, where he soon became head decorator, and introduced taste as well as delicacy of touch into the product. Underneath many Lowestoft handles will be found a small rose, which denotes that the work was done by him. The rose is his mark, but before this was known, people supposed that it merely represented the coat of arms for Lowestoft borough, which was the Tudor rose.

Roses set back to back appear on the highest grade of Lowestoft china; and at its best the ware was finer than any sent out by Bow and Chelsea. The Lowestoft red is of a peculiar quality, varying from carmine to ashes of roses, and often approaching a plum color. Roses and garlands of roses in these lovely hues of pink and purple distinguish this china. Dainty and familiar are the flowers and sprigs in natural colors, with delicate borders in color and gold.

A familiar style of decoration was that of the dark blue bands, or dots, or other figures, heavily overlaid[Pg 184] with gold and often with coats of arms. This ware is a hard-paste porcelain, and was doubtless made and decorated in China. The fact that some of it bears the mark of "Allen Lowestoft," and that Mr. Allen was manager of the Lowestoft works at this time, proves nothing beyond the fact that when the dealer sent his order to China to be filled, he ordered his name marked on the bottom. Small quantities of undecorated ware may have been brought from China and Holland to be painted, but we have no record of any such transactions; the duty was heavy, and the amount of such ware imported must have been inconsiderable. China was doing this same work for other countries, and it is only reasonable to suppose that the managers of the Lowestoft factory sent the greater part of their orders to China to be filled by Chinese workmen upon Chinese material.

This also explains the failure of the company. It is recorded upon good authority that the ruin resulted partly from the sharp competition with the Staffordshire wares, but was precipitated in 1803 by the wreck of one of the vessels carrying a cargo of porcelain, and by the burning of the Rotterdam warehouse by the French army.

Rotterdam, where Lowestoft ware was stored,[Pg 185] was the seat of an immense commerce between Holland and China. It seems but natural that their trade in common Delft wares should lead the Lowestoft company into communication with wholesale importers of Chinese porcelain, from whom they could purchase large supplies; and should also lead them into the establishment, in England, of a more highly remunerative branch of their business, through underselling the Dutch East India Company.

It was customary for the Dutch firms to send over to their foreign settlements shapes and designs obtained from European sources, to be reproduced by native hands. The Lowestoft people did what all other merchants had done before them, and through the same channel forwarded to China the designs of coats of arms, English mottoes, and initials that were to be printed upon the porcelain which they had undertaken to supply.

And so the great conflagration of the Lowestoft controversy was furnished with fuel, and there is no knowing where it will end, because conclusive proof is so slight in each case and the partisans so eager and aggressive. Meantime, our grandmother's sprigged china remains a joy and a delight, whether or no we dare to call it genuine Lowestoft.[Pg 186]

There is no mystification about Crown Derby, but the old ware, which along with Lowestoft was beloved of the colonists, is as distinctive as any, and fortunate indeed is the individual who can boast of having in his possession a specimen. The works of Derby were established by a French refugee, named Planche, who had been sojourning in Saxony until the death of his father, when he came to Derby in 1745, bringing with him the secret of china manufacture, as he had learned it in Saxony. We have reason to suppose that he made in Derby many china figures of cats, dogs, shepherdesses, Falstaffs, Minervas, and the like, which William Duesbury, who was an expert enameler in London, colored for him. Unfortunately, none of this early output of the factory was marked, and in consequence it has become sadly confused, not only with the work of Bow and Chelsea, but with that of Lowestoft as well. After 1770, a mark was adopted, and the ware after that date is easily distinguishable.

William Duesbury bought out Planche's interest in the Derby works, though he did not dispense with Planche's services. Keenly artistic, with a taste at once discriminating and appreciative, Duesbury combined a winning personality with his[Pg 187] intellectual gifts. He possessed the faculty of securing the services of potters of unusual worth, and throughout his management, which continued until his death in 1796, he maintained in his output a standard of pure English art work of the highest order.

Prominent in the group of potters in his employ stands the name of William Billingsley, who was connected with the factory from 1774 to 1796. At Derby he established his reputation as a painter of exquisite flowers, and his work is characterized by a singularly true perception of intrinsic beauty and decorative value, being original and unhampered by traditional technique. The rose was his favorite flower; he invariably painted the back of a rose in his groups, and his justly famed "Billingsley Roses" are exceedingly soft in their treatment. Another favorite of his is the double-flowered stock, either yellow or white, and always shaded in gray.

In 1785 Duesbury associated with himself his son, the second William Duesbury, and then followed the most successful period of the work, being in reality the Crown Derby epoch par excellence. After the death of the elder Duesbury, the second William Duesbury became sole owner of the Derby works, but failing health compelled him[Pg 188] to take Michael Kean into the firm as partner. After the death of the younger Duesbury, Kean assumed control of the whole works, but his mismanagement soon resulted in the sale of the factory to Robert Bloor in 1810.

This marked the commencement of a new dispensation, and after this date the trademark became "Bloor-Derby." For a time things went on in the old way, but soon Bloor, in his eagerness to amass a fortune, yielded to temptation and began to put on the market ware that had been accumulating in the storehouse for sixty years, and which Planche and the Duesburys had considered of inferior quality and discarded. This ware he decorated with so-called Japan patterns, to hide defects and, to make a bad matter worse, he used for coloring the flowing under-glaze blue, which was wholly unsuited to the soft glaze of the Delft ware, and was sure to "run" in the glost oven.

The train of ruin was now well laid, and by 1822 Bloor was forced to resort to auction sales in the factory, in order to dispose of his output. The result was an utter loss of reputation for factory and product, and before the manufacture had reached the century mark of its existence, Derby china was relegated to the past.[Pg 189]

Many beautiful specimens of Crown Derby were imported to this country, one of the finest being in Mrs. William C. West's collection at Salem, showing the head of Bacchus with grapevine and wreath decoration, the whole beautifully colored.

Expressive of the greatest heights which English pottery reached, is the ware of Wedgwood, and a review of his achievements forms the most interesting chapter in the history of England's ceramic art. Of a family of potters, Josiah Wedgwood early exhibited the traits which later made him so justly famous, and a review of his life from the age of eleven years, when he was put to work in the potworks, as a thrower, until his death in 1795, covering a period of fifty-four years, is a review of the most remarkable story of progressiveness in a chosen profession ever recorded.

During the early days of his pottery making, about five years after his apprenticeship had expired, Wedgwood became associated with Thomas Whieldon, a potter who had attained considerable success in the manufacture of combed and agate wares, and the period of their partnership, which ended in 1759, was of benefit to both. One of Wedgwood's first successes was made at this time, in the invention of a green glaze which Whieldon[Pg 190] used with excellent effect on his cauliflower ware.

With the expiration of this partnership, Wedgwood returned to Burslem, where he soon purchased an interest in the Ivy Works, where he worked independently, and laid the foundation for many of his future successes. Among other things he experimented in perfecting the coarse cream wares then on the market, and six years after his coming to the Ivy Works he succeeded in producing his first real achievement, "Queen's Ware."

The success of this ware was most pronounced, and its popularity caused Wedgwood to realize that a division of labor which would allow him to look after the creative part and supply some one else to care for the commercial side of the undertaking was most important. In 1768, Thomas Bentley was taken on for this purpose, and at the new works, to which Wedgwood had previously removed, and known as the Bell House or Brick House, the new régime went into effect. The popularity of Queen's Ware had netted him enough to allow him to make finer productions, and after the finish of several schemes, in 1769, he removed to the famous factory known as Etruria, where his finest[Pg 191] work was accomplished, and at which place he remained until his death.

The several wares he manufactured are as varied as they are beautiful, and, in addition, he possessed the power to reproduce in a remarkable degree. This is best exemplified in his replica of the famous Portland Vase, which is so perfect that it has often deceived even connoisseurs. An amusing incident is related in connection with one of his reproductions, a Delft piece of a dinner set, which had become broken, and which he fashioned and sent to the owner by a messenger. The messenger started for his destination, which was but a short distance, but he did not appear again for a week. Upon his return, Wedgwood questioned him, and learned that the family was so delighted with the reproduction that they had kept the messenger, feasting him the entire time.

While old Wedgwood in all its forms is appreciated in this country, for some reason or other cream ware and jasper ware are especially favored among American collectors. Fine pieces of both are included in the Rogers collection at Danvers, the jasper piece being an especially fine specimen.

A review of old china would not seem complete without including the luster wares, several excellent[Pg 192] examples of which are in American collections. Silver-tinted comes first in point of rarity, though the rose-spotted Sunderland luster is a close second in this respect, and really commands a higher price. Originally, silver luster was a cheap imitation of silver, and first specimens were lustered inside as well as out, to further increase the deception. When the ware became common, and the deception was well known, silver luster was used only on the exterior of vessels in decorations, and occasionally in conjunction with gold luster. After 1838, which year marked the introduction of electroplating, silver luster declined in favor, and shortly after the completion of the first half of the nineteenth century ceased to be manufactured. Numberless beautiful articles were made of this ware, including quaint candlesticks, teapots, cream jugs, bowls, salt cellars, and vases.

Copper and gold luster are likewise shown in a variety of attractive forms, and these, unlike silver luster, were never made as shams. Wedgwood is credited with having first made the copper-and gold-lustered wares, but authentic proof of this is lacking. Jugs were often lustered with gold and copper, the latter usually characterized by bands of brilliant yellow or colored flowers, sometimes[Pg 193] printed and sometimes painted. The gold luster was especially fine, and it is this type, together with copper luster, that is most commonly found. Excellent specimens of gold-lustered ware are found in a collection at Lynn, one piece of exceptional interest having been secured at the time of the Civil War by a party of Northern soldiers while devastating a Southern plantation.[Pg 194]



Of all the old-time wares, glass, until recently, has been most rarely collected, and in consequence, whereas specimens of silver and pewter are comparatively abundant, examples of glass are scarce. There are several reasons for this, the principal being its fragility; and then, too, the date of its manufacture is very uncertain. To be sure, the shape and finish of a glass piece determines in a measure the period of its make, but it is not proof positive, any more than are the traditions handed down in families as to the time of purchase of certain specimens. Yet, notwithstanding all this, the price of old glass is constantly increasing, and within the last few years has almost doubled.

The first glass made was of a coarse type, crude in shape, and of greenish coloring, with sand and bubbles showing on its surface, detracting from its finish. Examples of this type are very scarce to-day, bringing prices wholly at variance with their attractiveness. Up to the eighteenth century, all[Pg 195] glass was very expensive, making it prohibitive to all but the wealthy classes, but since that time its cost has been greatly reduced, and beautiful specimens, of exquisite design, can now be purchased at prices within the means of almost every one. Of course, these later specimens do not possess the quaintness of old-time pieces, and to the collector they are of no interest whatever. The fad of collecting has brought into favor the old types, and throughout the country the regard for old glassware is constantly increasing, although it will be some time before it comes into prominence here in the same measure that it has in England.

Plate LVII.—Venetian and English Decanters; Toddy glasses, about 1800; English Glass with Silver Coasters. Very old. Plate LVII.—Venetian and English Decanters; Toddy glasses, about 1800; English Glass with Silver Coasters. Very old.

While the origin of glass is not definitely certain, yet specimens are in existence which are known to have been made before the coming of Christ, such as the celebrated Portland Vase, a Roman product, now seen in the British Museum. After the decline of glass making in Rome, the craft was gradually taken up in Venice and Bohemia, the output of the former country ranking among the finest made, and including, among other things, the exquisite Venetian drinking cups, which are unrivaled in beauty.

So important was the craft considered in these early times that manufacturers received great[Pg 196] attention from the government, were dubbed "Gentlemen," and were looked upon with awe by the common people. Naturally, great secrecy surrounded the plying of the craft, and this secrecy led to the circulation of mysterious tales. One legend was that the furnace fire created a monster called the salamander, and it was firmly believed that at stated intervals he came out of the furnace, and carried back with him any chance visitor. People who glanced fearfully into the furnace declared that they saw him curled up at one side of his fiery bed, and the absence of any workmen was at once attributed to this monster's having captured him.

The early green glass of the Rhine and Holland, while made by German-speaking people, cannot be considered as characteristic of German glass. These people lived on either side of the mountains which gird Bohemia on three sides, and divide that kingdom from Silesia, Saxony, and Bavaria respectively, and the glass they made was painted in beautiful colors, the finer kind being engraved in the upland countries, where water was abundant. Gilding was also much employed by them, and we learn that in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries this decoration was fixed by a cold[Pg 197] process; that is, by simply attaching the gold leaf by means of varnish. This form of decoration was only lasting when applied to the sunken parts of the glass.

Plate LVIII.—Russian Glass Decanter and Tumblers; Note the exquisite cutting on this Decanter. Plate LVIII.—Russian Glass Decanter and Tumblers; Note the exquisite cutting on this Decanter.

Very little of this glass was used in the section where it was manufactured, nearly the whole product being exported to Austria, Germany, Italy, the East, and even to America. The industry was popular in Bohemia, for it furnished labor to a part of the population, helping to keep them from want, and it procured for the rich landowners a revenue from the use of their woods.

The factories, which were rudely built, were located in the center of forest tracts, and they produced, in addition to ordinary glass pieces, articles that were intended to be highly worked or richly engraved, also colored glass, decorated with gilding and painting. Long experience in the manufacture of colored glass had made these workmen expert in this branch, and any advice they needed, they obtained from men of information who made their living by seeking out and selling secrets concerning processes and improvements in glass manufacture. All capital required was advanced by rich lords, who were eager to insure the success of industries established upon their premises.[Pg 198]

Glass cutting and luster making were regarded as special trades, being carried on in huts beside small streams; and engraving, gilding, and painting likewise formed separate branches, all paid by the very lowest wages. Products of all the factories were collected by agents from commercial houses, and by them distributed among the various markets.

Comparison between the Bohemian product and the older glass upon the market resulted strongly in favor of the former. It was clear, white, light, and of agreeable delicacy to the touch, and no other glass as purely colorless was made until the modern discovery of flint glass, made by the use of lead.

Through the invention of one Gasper Lehmann, improved engraving on Bohemian glass became possible, opening a field for decorative art that hitherto had been undreamed of. With his pupil George Schwanhard, he improved designs, and the world went engraved-glass mad. Nothing but this type would sell, and as material became scarce, Venetian pieces, already a hundred years old, were brought into requisition and engraved.

At the commencement of the seventeenth century, some of the Bohemian manufacturers were producing vases of various shapes enriched with[Pg 199] engraved ornaments, representing scenes, and frequently portraits. Some of the former type are shown in the wonderful collection owned by Mr. W. J. Mitchell at Manchester, Massachusetts. With the pronounced popularity of the Bohemian engraved vases, artists in other countries began decorating their ware in like fashion, those of France employing interlaced flowers. These were etched on, rather than engraved, however, and cheapened the ware; in other countries the results obtained were no better, all failing to compare with the Bohemian specimens, for the art of engraving here had been learned from long experience by workmen who were experts in their line.

Many Bohemian pieces showed an original decoration in the way of ornamentations in relief on the outside, while the art of cameo incrustation was also first used by Bohemian workers, who sometimes varied it to obtain odd and pleasing effects by engraving through an outer casing of colored glass into an interior of white, transparent, or enameled glass. One such specimen, a salt cellar, is shown in the Mitchell collection.

Plate LIX.—English Cut Class Decanter, about 1800; Typical Red Bohemian Glass Decanter; American Glass Bottle, Jenny Lind, about 1850. Plate LIX.—English Cut Class Decanter, about 1800; Typical Red Bohemian Glass Decanter; American Glass Bottle, Jenny Lind, about 1850.

Ruby coloring was a characteristic of many fine Bohemian pieces, and its acquirement was a source of despair to any number of workers, it being hard[Pg 200] to hit on just the right combination to produce the desired shade. So important did this feature become that we learn of one Kunckel, an artist, being given sixteen hundred ducats by the elector of Brandenburg to assist in attaining perfection in this shade of coloring. The ware of this type was made in the last half of the seventeenth century, and specimens were the admiration of all beholders.

It is a ware that possesses a strange attraction. No other type of glass is more a favorite with collectors than this, and no other encourages the amateur to greater endeavor in its pursuit, no matter how discouraging it may be at first. Then, too, no matter how large the collection may be, it is never monotonous, for the various specimens show a great diversity of form and ornamentation.

The collection of Bohemian glass shown at the Mitchell house at Manchester, contains some wonderful examples of the art, including decanters with long and slender stems, odd salt cellars in frames of silver, bonbon dishes, and numerous other pieces, some in the rare ruby coloring, and others in white and gilt.

Plate LX.—Bohemian Glass. The center one is rare, showing figure of Peacock in Red and White; English Cut Glass Wineglasses, 1790; English Glass Decanters. Very fine and rare. Plate LX.—Bohemian Glass. The center one is rare, showing figure of Peacock in Red and White; English Cut Glass Wineglasses, 1790; English Glass Decanters. Very fine and rare.

Other fine pieces are found at the Nichols house on Federal Street, Salem, and in the Atkinson collection, also at Salem, while at Andover, at[Pg 201] the old Kittredge house, many rare bits are to be seen. All of these specimens are heirlooms, those in the Kittredge house having been in the family since the home was erected, in the latter part of the eighteenth century.

While examples of all types of glass are to be found in America, perhaps the most common specimens are of English make, brought to the new country after business had become firmly established, along with the other fine household equipments. Among these are many fine decanters and tumblers of various designs, particularly interesting from the part they shared in the long accepted belief that glass drinking vessels of every kind, made under certain astronomical influences, would fly to pieces if any poisonous liquid was placed in them; and also that drinking glasses of colored ware added flavor to wine, and detracted materially from its intoxicating quality. Some of these drinking glasses, known in England as toddy glasses, were the forerunners of our present tumblers.

English collections, of course, include much earlier specimens of the ware than do American, for it was not until the latter part of the eighteenth century, when the seaport towns of New England were at the height of their prosperity, that sea[Pg 202] captains brought here from England and other ports all kinds of glass. Some of the finest of this found its way to Salem, and in the Waters house, on Washington Square, are stored some of the rarest of these specimens. These have all been collected by Mr. Fitz Waters, who has devoted years in research of old-time things, and they represent not only the different periods of manufacture, but the output of the different countries as well. Included are many engraved pieces, decanters which cannot be duplicated, and rare and wonderful bits, such as toddy glasses and numberless other glasses of varying kinds, many of them beautifully engraved with delicate tracery and the tulip of Holland.

Many beautiful wine glasses and tumblers can be classified by their name, such as the white twist stem, made between 1745 and 1757,—the twisted appearance of the stem being the result of a peculiar process,—the baluster stem, and the air twist stem, some of the latter showing domed feet.

Several of the best types of glasses are shown in the West collection in Salem. The cutting of the stems of several of these fix the date of manufacture at about 1800, while others of unusual shapes[Pg 203] show bird and shield designs, also the wreath and flower. It is by the design more than anything else that the date of manufacture is fixed, determining the choiceness of the piece, and the money it should bring.

While England has furnished most of the pieces shown here to-day, yet in the Northend collection in Salem are several fine Russian specimens. These are deeply cut, and were brought to this country from Russia by one John Harrod about the year 1800. For many years they were stored in the old Harrod house at Newburyport, finding their way to their present abode when the Harrod dwelling was dismantled, the owner being a descendant of this family. One piece, which is most unusual, is a deep punch bowl with a cover.

Curiously enough, the first industrial enterprise undertaken in America was a factory for the manufacture of glass bottles. It was built very early in the history of the Virginia colony, and stood about a mile from Jamestown, in the midst of a woodland tract. Later, other factories were erected, many of them manufacturing glass beads to be used in trading with the Indians. The oldest glass plant still doing business, which has been continuous since its beginning, is located at Kensington[Pg 204] in Philadelphia, having been established in 1711.

To many it may be still unknown that Bohemian glassware has been manufactured in this country, and at a very early period. From Mannheim, in Germany, in the year 1750, came a certain Baron Steigel, whose parents had dubbed him William Henry. He laid out, in Pennsylvania, the village which bears the name of his native place, and there he established ironworks and glassworks, and deeded a plot of ground to the Lutheran congregation, in consideration of their annual payment, forever, of one red rose. The glasshouse was dome-shaped, and so large that a coach-and-six could enter at the doorway, turn around inside, and drive out again. He brought skilled workmen from the best factories in Europe, and made richly colored bowls and goblets, which have the true Bohemian ring, and which are now in the possession of local collectors.

His works did not continue for any length of time, as he failed in business about five years after he started, but the old Steigel house is still standing in the heart of the town, distinguished by the red and black bricks of which it is built. And there still, in the month of June, is often celebrated the[Pg 205] Feast of Roses, one feature of which is the payment of a great red rose by a church officer to the baron's descendants.

But of all the old glass made here, perhaps the bottles form the most interesting portion. For the first seventy years of the nineteenth century, fancy pocket flasks and bottles were manufactured in the United States. The idea of the decorations probably came, in the first place, from the fact that English potters were decorating crockery with local subjects, in order to catch the American trade. This glassware, however, was wholly the result of our own enterprise. The objects here shown were blown in engraved metal molds, which had been prepared by professional mold cutters.

Colors and sizes vary too much to be a test of age. The scarred base and the sheared neck are the surest sign of age. In all the older forms, the neck was sheared with scissors, leaving it irregular and without finishing band; also, the base always showed a rough, circular scar, left by breaking the bottle away from the rod which held it while the workman was finishing the neck.

Smooth and hollow bases were made between 1850 and 1860 by means of an improvement called a "snap" or case, which held the bottle. At[Pg 206] the same time, a rim was added to the mouth. The designs were worked out in transparent white, pale blue, sapphire blue, light green, emerald green, olive, brown, opalescent, or claret color. Twenty-nine of these historic flasks bear for ornament some form of the American eagle; nineteen different designs display the head of Washington, and twelve the head of Taylor.

Their shapes varied with the passing of time. The very earliest were slender and arched in form, with edges horizontally corrugated; then came in vogue oval shapes, with edges ribbed vertically. The next pattern was almost circular in form, with plain, rounded edges; and at this time some specimens show a color at the mouth. Then appeared the calabash, or decanter form, no longer flattened and shallow, as the others had been, but almost spherical, with edges that showed vertical corrugation, ribbing, or fluting; with long, slender neck, finished with a cap at the top; with smoothly hollowed or hollowed and scarred base.

These were superseded by bottles arched in form, deep and flattened, having vertically corrugated edges, a short and broad neck, finished with a round and narrow heading, and a base either scarred or flat. Last of all appeared the modern[Pg 207] flask shape, also arched in form, with a broad shoulder, a narrow base, plainly rounded edges, and a return to the flattened and shallow type of the earliest manufactures. The neck had a single or double beading at the top, and the base was either flat or smoothly hollowed.

All the Kossuth and Jenny Lind bottles were made about 1850. The Taylor or Taylor and Bragg bottles belong to the period of the Mexican War, and were probably blown in 1848. One of these bears Taylor's historic command, "A little more grape, Captain Bragg," as delivered at the battle of Buena Vista. Another has a portrait of Washington upon one side, and that of Taylor upon the other, with the motto, "Gen. Taylor never surrenders." This shows the circular, canteen shape.

One of the very oldest forms known to have been decorated in this country is the one which bears in relief a design of the first railroad, represented by a horse drawing along rails a four-wheeled car heaped with cotton bales and lumps of coal. This picture runs lengthwise of the bottle and bears the legend "Success to the Railroads" about the margin of the panel. This could not have been produced earlier than 1825. Some of the Washington[Pg 208] designs belong to earlier periods, as do the eagle and United States flag. Most of the Masonic decorations belong between 1840 and 1850.

The log cabin designs are connected with the notable Harrison "hard cider" campaign of 1840, as are the inkstands made in the form of log cabins, cider barrels, and beehives. The dark brown whisky bottles in the shape of a log cabin are souvenirs of the same period of political excitement, and were made by a New Jersey glass firm for a certain liquor merchant in Philadelphia.

The Jackson bottles belong to the period of the stormy thirties. The "Hero of New Orleans" is represented in uniform, wearing a throat-cutting collar which entirely obscures his ear.

A Connecticut firm, in the late sixties, sent out a bottle of modern shape, decorated with a double-headed sheaf of wheat, with rake and pitchfork, having a star below. At about the same time a firm in Pittsburg put upon the market a highly decorated flask, similarly modern in outline, having upon one side an eagle, monument, and flag; upon the reverse, an Indian with bow and arrow, shooting a bird in the foreground, with a dog and a tree in the background.

Some bottles of unknown origin were decorated[Pg 209] with horns of plenty, vases of flowers, panels of fruit, sheaves of wheat, a Masonic arch and emblems, ship and eight-pointed star, and a bold Pikes Peak pilgrim with staff and bundle to celebrate the passage of the Rocky Mountains.

Among the early curio bottles shown are numerous fancy designs in the form of animals, fishes, eggs, pickles, canteens, cigars, shells, pistols, violins, lanterns, and the like. To this class belongs the Moses bottle, which also goes by the name of Santa Claus. It is of clear and colorless glass, with a string fastened about the neck and attached to each end of a stick which crosses the top.

Should the collector enlarge his fad so as to take in bottles from foreign lands, he would find that his collection would gain much in beauty. In the Metropolitan Museum of New York there is a very comprehensive exhibit of rare Venetian glass bottles and vials, which was the gift of James Jackson Jarves. These are the most brilliant and elegant types of their kind, graceful and refined, dainty and ethereal.[Pg 210]



There is a charm about old pewter that is well-nigh irresistible to the collector of antiques, its odd shapes, mellow tints, and, above all, its rarity, luring one in its pursuit. In the days when it was in general use,—after the decline in favor of the wooden trencher,—it was but little valued, and our forbears quaffed their foaming, home-made ale from pewter tankards, and ate their meals from pewter dishes with little thought of the prominence this ware would one day attain, or the prices it would command. To-day pewter represents a lost art, and the tankards and plates and chargers which our ancestors used so carelessly are now pursued with untiring energy, and, if secured, are treasured as prizes of priceless worth.

Intrinsically, the metal is of little value, being nothing more than an alloy of tin and lead, with sometimes a sprinkling of copper, antimony, or bismuth, but historically it is hugely interesting.[Pg 211] Like many other old-time features, records of its early history are scanty, affording but little knowledge of its origin, though proving beyond a doubt that it was in use in very early times. When it was first used in China and Japan,—those countries to which we are forced to turn for the origin of so many of the old industries,—it is impossible to ascertain, but it is certain that pewter ware was made in China two thousand years ago, and there are to-day specimens of Japanese pewter in England, known to be all of eleven hundred years old, these latter pieces being very like some shown in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Some old chroniclers claim that the ware was used by the Phœnicians and early Hebrews, and all agree that it was manufactured, in certain forms, in ancient Rome. Proof positive of this fact was gleaned some years ago, when quantities of old pewter seals of all shapes and sizes were discovered in the county of Westmoreland, in England, where they had evidently been left by the Roman legions centuries before. It is indeed deplorable that, owing to their making excellent solder, all these seals should have been destroyed by enterprising tinkers in the neighborhood.

As early as the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries,[Pg 212] pewter was produced in quantities, in France, Germany, Holland, and Switzerland, and a very little in Italy and Spain. The year 1550 marked the period of the most showy development in the first-named country, of which Francis Briot was the most celebrated worker. His most noted productions were a flagon and salver, with figures, emblems, marks, and strapwork. These exquisite pieces were cast in sections, joined together, and then finished in the most careful manner, in delicate relief. Briot was followed by Gasper Enderlein, Swiss, and by the year 1600 the Nuremberg workers entered the field with richly wrought plates and platters. France continued to hold high rank in pewter manufacture until 1750, after which time the quality of her output considerably deteriorated.

In the sixteenth century the trade sprang up in Scotland, many excellent pieces of the ware being produced here, and during the seventeenth century Dutch and German pewter came to the fore, being considered, during this period, the best made. Nuremberg and Ausberg were the centers of the industry in Germany, while in Scotland, Edinburgh and Glasgow appear to have been the chief trade centers. The ware made in[Pg 213] Spain never seems to have attained any great degree of perfection, and records of its progress in this country are extremely scarce. Barcelona seems to have been the center of the industry, but just when or where the craft had its inception, research has been unable to disclose. Certain it is that no trace of any corporation or guild has been found prior to the fifteenth century.

English pewter dates back as far as the tenth century, though few pieces are now in existence that antedate the seventeenth century. Here, as in other European countries, the ware was at first made solely for ecclesiastical purposes, its manufacture for household use not becoming popular until many years later. From the twelfth to the fifteenth centuries, the ware gradually grew in importance through northern Europe, though domestic pewter was used only by the clergy and nobility up to the fourteenth century. Just when it became popular for table and kitchen use is not definitely known, though it is certain that it supplanted wooden ware some time in the fifteenth century.

Pewter reached the height of its popularity during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, though its use for household purposes continued[Pg 214] throughout the eighteenth and the first part of the nineteenth centuries. In the sixteenth century the artistic quality of the ware was greatly improved, for by an act of James VI the ware was divided into two grades, the best to be marked with a crown and hammer, and the second with the maker's name. Specimens of this century are to-day extremely scarce, those few examples that do remain being for the most part found in museums or in old English castles, where they have remained in the same family from generation to generation. No doubt, specimens would have been more plentiful had not the greater part of the church plate in England and Scotland been destroyed during the Reformation.

After 1780 pewter was but little used among the wealthy classes, except in their kitchens and servants' quarters, where it held sway for a considerable length of time. In fact, in some of the larger establishments, it continued to be used regularly until within the last thirty-five years, and even now it is used in the servants' hall in two or three of the large old country houses. It lingered longest in the taverns and inns, and in the London chop-houses, being used in the last named until they were forced out of business through the introduction of coffee palace and tea rooms.[Pg 215]

English pewter differs materially from that made in other countries, the workmen employing designs characterized by a sturdiness and sedate dignity that raised the ware above that made in other lands. Almost every conceivable domestic utensil was made of pewter as well as garden ornaments, and it is interesting to note, in connection with the latter, that several urns were designed by the brothers Adam.

The history of pewter making in England might almost be said to be that of the London Guild or Worshipful Company of Pewterers, so closely is the ware allied with it. For a long time this company or guild controlled the manufacture and sale of the ware in England, and during the days of its greatest influence it did much to improve the quality. At one time it attempted to make general the employment and recording or marks, but the rule was not enforced, and an excellent opportunity of insuring the exact date of manufacture of a certain piece was thus lost.

Several private touch marks were registered at Pewterers' Hall, but these, together with important records that the company had compiled, were destroyed in the great London fire of 1666. Very few pieces now in existence bear any of these[Pg 216] touch marks, though occasionally a piece will be found that shows the regulation London Guild quality mark, a rose with a crown. The touch mark was the mark of the maker. This was generally his name alone, though sometimes his name was combined with some device, like an animal or flower.

Scotland boasted a guild at Edinburgh that at one time enjoyed a fame second only to that of the celebrated London Company. Touch plates of the pewterers that were registered here are no longer in existence, and, indeed, much of the pewter made in this country bears no mark at all. The usual hallmark was a thistle and a crown, though there were several local marks that were frequently used, which are sometimes found on Scotch pieces.

France, too, had its guilds, but they were abolished by Turgot on the ground that the free right to labor was a sacred privilege of humanity. Gradually the influence of all the guilds was less keenly felt, and in time the majority were abolished. After this the quality and use of pewter steadily declined, and with the coming into favor of china and other ware, pewter grew to be considered old-fashioned, and its use was discontinued during the first years of the nineteenth century.[Pg 217]

Plate LXI.—Pewter half-pint, pint and quart Measures, one hundred years old; Three unusual-shaped Pewter Cream Jugs; German Pewter, Whorl pattern. Plate LXI.—Pewter half-pint, pint and quart Measures, one hundred years old; Three unusual-shaped Pewter Cream Jugs; German Pewter, Whorl pattern.

The old-time metal played a prominent part in the first colonial households in America, it being in many cases the only available ware, but after a time, as the population and strength of the young colonies increased, it had to give way, as in England, to the introduction and steadily increasing popularity of china. During the seventeenth century several English pewterers came to America to find employment, settling principally in Boston, Salem, and Plymouth County, and during the eighteenth century the manufacture of the ware here became quite common. It is interesting to note that the greater part of the American-made pieces bear the name of the maker.

English and Continental pewter was also extensively used here, and, in consequence, American collections of the present include specimens from these countries. Most of the pieces now preserved belong to the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, though there are some few pieces which are of earlier manufacture.

The value of pewter, like all other antiques, varies, and a piece is really worth what one can obtain for it. In England, the highest prices are paid for sixteenth-century pewter, while in our own country the product of the eighteenth[Pg 218] century is that most sought after, and the best prices are paid for pieces of this period. Ecclesiastical pewter is rare here, and therefore is valuable, but it does not hold such high favor in the collector's regard as do the simple pieces that once graced the quaint dressers in colonial homes.

The fad for pewter has been productive of much imitation ware. This is especially true of certain types which are particularly popular, and, indeed, were it not for this demand, it would hardly pay to imitate the old metal, even at the prices now paid for the same. It costs considerable to make up spurious bits that are almost entirely like the old-time pieces, in composition, and, besides, they must be put through several processes to make them look old. Consequently, it is safe to assume that at the present time the number of imitation pieces on the market is comparatively small, and in this country there are really few pieces that are entirely counterfeit. To be sure, plain pieces of the genuine metal are sometimes ornamented to increase their value, but lately collectors seem to regard plain pieces with the greatest favor, and this form of counterfeiting will no doubt soon disappear.

To-day, in America, there is one manufacturer,[Pg 219] and perhaps more, who is reviving some of the original forms and producing pewter reproductions which are being put on the market as such. For the modern colonial dining-room these are especially attractive, serving in every particular the purpose of decoration, but to the collector they are of no interest.

America boasts of several fine collections of this ware, especially in the New England states, where the chief ports for the trade were located. The Bigelow collection at Boston includes, besides plates and platters, rare bits of odd design, many of them characterized by markings. One such piece is a hot-water receptacle, showing a shield decoration on which are marked the initials "H. H. D." and the date "1796." The lid is ornamented with two lines and the initials "R. G." Several quaint lamps are other prized possessions in this collection, some of them made about 1712, and most of them of American manufacture. One of them, the smallest of the group, is marked "N. Y. Molineux." Tankards of the "tappit hen" type are also preserved here, though they are not precisely the same shape as the measures of Scotch make which went by that name; other pieces included in the collection are cream jugs, milk pitchers,[Pg 220] spoons, forks, a water urn, and several odd tankards.

Equally as interesting is the Caliga collection at Salem. Here are to be seen quantities of this rare old ware, worked up into almost every conceivable device, and several of the pieces are numbered among the choicest in the country. A squatty little teapot with wooden handle is among the most interesting specimens, and its history is in keeping with its quaintness. It was secured by Mr. Caliga in a little German town during his residence abroad, and soon after it came into his possession, it was much sought after by a collector, who offered a large sum of money for its acquirement. Mr. Caliga refused to part with it, and later he learned that it was indeed a very rare piece, being a part of a set which the collector was endeavoring to obtain for the Duke of Baden, who owned one of the three pieces, the would-be purchaser having the second. This teapot has for a hallmark an angel; a quaint sugar bowl of like design, also in this collection, shows a crown and bird.

An odd pewter lamp, known as a Jewish or Seven Days' lamp, is included in this collection, the receptacle for oil being in the lower portion.[Pg 221] There are two large pewter plates, also, one of which has the royal coat of arms in the center, and is surrounded by the whorl pattern. These plates measure about twenty inches across, and one has the hallmark of three angels on the back.

Perhaps the rarest bit of pewter in existence to-day is that owned by a Massachusetts lady. It is of Japanese manufacture, and is a family heirloom, through generations back. It first came into possession of the owner's ancestors in 1450; even at that date it had a history, and, indeed, its battered sides speak eloquently and forcibly of a past. It is said to have been the possession of a French nobleman, who, for some cause or other, was compelled to flee from his native land, and who sought refuge in England, where he met and married an English girl. The precious bit remained with his descendants until the year above mentioned, when the last of his race, dying without issue, bequeathed the old relic to his dearest friend, of whom its present owner is a direct descendant.

But whatever its type and origin, the old ware is always interesting. To be sure, even at its best it is plain, relying on its form for its pleasing appearance, but no other metal better repays its owner for the care expended upon it. No doubt[Pg 222] it costs an effort or two to keep it bright and shining, but who does not feel repaid for the time and energy expended, when the slow gleams of silver-like hue that gradually appear on the surface greet one in appreciation, like the smile of an old friend![Pg 223]



There is a widespread and growing interest in all old silver, especially in such pieces as can be traced back to colonial origin. Salem, whose commercial prosperity was well established by the middle of the seventeenth century, has some wonderfully good pieces of colonial silver, many of which are family heirlooms.

The early American silverware, like our early furniture and architecture, is thoroughly characteristic of the tastes and mode of life peculiar to that period in America. It is simple in design and substantial in weight, thus reflecting the mental attitude of the people. Social conditions here would not warrant any imitation of the magnificent baronial silver which was then being made and used in England. Many of the pieces in these collections come to us hallowed by a hundred associations and by traditions recalling the lives of our forefathers in all their manifold phases. The sight of the silver communion service recalls[Pg 224] the early history of our New England churches, and reminds us of the devotion of the people to the institutions about which revolved both the social and political life.

Only the identity of the maker is revealed by the hallmark on American silver. There is no trace of the date letter, so prevalent upon English pieces of the same period, although various emblems appear, which were used as trademarks, peculiar to the owner. In cases where the crown appears above the initials, it was merely a passing fad to copy the mark of certain English silversmiths who enjoyed royal patronage.

The business of making silverware in the colonies seems to have been profitable from the first. The earliest silversmith of whom we have any record is John Hull, born in 1624 and dying in 1683, who amassed much wealth through his appointment as mintmaster for Massachusetts in the old days of the pine-tree shillings. His name, together with that of his daughter Betsey, has been immortalized by Hawthorne.

That Captain Hull did not have a monopoly of his trade is proved by the fact that a beaker, which was presented to the Dorchester church in 1672, was made by one David Jesse. Also, a[Pg 225] certain Jeremiah Dummer, brother of Governor William Dummer, was apprenticed to John Hull, to learn the silversmith's trade, in 1659, and sent out much work stamped with his own name. He also taught his trade to his brother-in-law, John Cony, who engraved the plates for the first paper money that was ever made in America.

Most famous of all New England silversmiths was Paul Revere. Besides the historic associations connected with his name, his works are most attractive in themselves, showing an exquisite finish and great beauty of workmanship; there are no certain marks to distinguish his work from that of his father, as each used the stamp "P. Revere."

Of the many silversmiths of New York, none are so early in point of time as these New England men whom I have mentioned. Not until the middle of the eighteenth century did a certain George Ridout come over from London, and set up business "near the Ferry stairs." He has left us beautiful candlesticks, marked with his name, and by these he is remembered. At about the same time Richard Van Dyck, tracing his lineage to the Knickerbockers, made very handsome flat-chased bowls, and Myer Myers, seemingly of[Pg 226] similar origin, set his stamp upon finely proportioned pint cans, having an ear-shaped handle and a pine-cone finial.

At a later date, shortly subsequent to the Revolution, a silversmith named Tragees made beautiful sugar bowls with urn-shaped finials; and Cary Dunn, who held a position in the custom house, designed exquisitely engraved teapots, having the cover surmounted by a pineapple as the emblem of hospitality. These early makers stamped their names plainly upon their work, so that the task of approximating their age is thus rendered easy.

In most families silver spoons of various patterns have been preserved for generations. Some of these were brought from England with other treasures of family silver, and are excellent examples of seventeenth-century ware. Up to that time, teaspoons had been made with very deep round or pear-shaped bowls and very short handles. Toward the middle of the seventeenth century, they assumed more nearly their present form, having handles twice as long as they had previously possessed, and bowls oval or elliptical. The new style was sometimes dubbed the "rat-tail spoon," in derisive comment upon its long and[Pg 227] slender handle. It will be observed that many of our earliest teaspoons were no larger than the present after-dinner coffee spoons.

It is probable that no other type of spoon possesses the interest, not to say the money value, of the old Apostle spoons, which came into fashion in the sixteenth century. At that time it was an English custom for the sponsors to present these spoons, as baptismal gifts, to the children for whom they made themselves responsible. A wealthy godparent would give a complete set of thirteen, but a poor man generally contented himself with giving simply the one spoon which bore the figure of the child's patron saint.

The complete set consisted of the "Master" spoon and twelve others. The "Master" spoon has upon the handle a figure of Christ, holding in one hand the sphere and cross, while the other hand is extended in blessing. A nimbus surrounds the head, in all these spoons. Each apostle is distinguished by some emblem. Saint Paul has a sword, Saint Thomas a spear, and Saint Andrew a cross. Saint Matthias carries an ax or halberd, Saint Jude a club, Saint Bartholomew a butcher's knife, and Saint Philip a long staff with a cross in the T. Saint Peter appears with a[Pg 228] key, Saint James the Greater with a pilgrim's staff, Saint James the Less with a fuller's hat, and Saint Matthew with a wallet. Saint John has one hand raised in blessing, while the other holds the cup of sorrow.

Whole sets of these spoons are very rare. In fact, there are said to be but two whole sets in existence, with another set of eleven. One of these sets sold in 1903 for twenty-four thousand five hundred dollars, while another set of less ancient date brought five thousand three hundred dollars. A single Apostle spoon, bearing upon its handle a figure of Saint Nicholas, and upon its stem the inscription, "Saint Nicholas, pray for us," sold in London for three thousand four hundred and fifty dollars, a few years ago. This is said to be the highest price ever paid for one single spoon.

The oldest hallmarked Apostle spoon is dated 1493, while the most modern of which we have any record bears the date of 1665. It is probable that the custom of giving these baptismal presents began to go out of fashion at that period.

Other spoons of great interest, although not so old as the earliest Apostle spoons, are the curious little "caddy spoons," which came into vogue[Pg 229] with the first popularity of tea drinking more than two centuries ago. The tea was at first kept in canisters, whose lids served as a measure. Then came into use the quaint and dainty tea caddy, with its two-lidded and metal-lined end compartments, and a central cavity to be used as a sugar bowl. A favorite and poetic custom of the old sea captains, upon visiting China, was to have their ships painted upon China caddies by Chinese artists, as gifts for wives or sweethearts at home.

Now since the sugar bowl was a part of the tea caddy, the use of the caddy spoon or scoop became immediately popular. All of these spoons have very short stems and handles, with bowls of fanciful design, perforated, or shell-shaped, or fluted. A few were made like miniature scoops, with handles of ebony; while others were perfect imitations of leaves, the leaf stem curling around into a ring, to make the handle.

In this country, caddy spoons came into use after the Revolution. Until very recently, they have been neglected by collectors, and were to be bought at a low figure; but all that is changed, and the price is from fifteen dollars upward in most cases, besides which the purchaser must[Pg 230] take his chances as to the genuine worth of his bargain, as many imitations are being put upon the market. It is no proof of genuine worth that the spoon may be bought in an antique shop on a quiet street of some sleepy old seaport town. This is just the spot likely to be chosen for perpetrating a fraud. The most common counterfeit is made by joining a perfectly new bowl to the handle of a genuine Georgian teaspoon that bears an irreproachable hallmark. The unusual length of handle betrays the cheat, which can be further proved by the presence of a flattened spot similar to a thumb print, where the bowl joins the handle.

Still another fraudulent specimen has a false hallmark. These counterfeits were probably made outside of this country, perhaps not even in England. The hallmark is the stamp of a head that bears no particular resemblance to George III, for whom it is possibly intended; a lion that may, perhaps, be near enough in design to pass for the royal British brute; and signs and letters, half-effaced, which, in conjunction with the king's head and the lion, make up an imitation of the Birmingham hallmark. Of course it would not deceive, for an instant, the experienced buyer in[Pg 231] a good clear light; but the shops are often darkened to a kind of twilight, and the inexperienced amateur detects nothing wrong about the spoon, which is usually made after some uncommon and attractive style.

As this fraud is of recent date, no examination would be necessary for spoons known to have been in a certain family for some years. These spoons were made of Wedgwood ware, china, glass, agate, or tortoise-shell, as well as of silver. There are beautiful silver ones in the shape of a hand or of a flower. In two cases, I have seen the spoon made to match the caddy. One of these sets was of decorated china, and the other of tortoise-shell set in silver.

Another spoon, which passed out of date with the caddy ladle, was the so-called caudle spoon. It might be well to explain to the present generation that caudle was a preparation of wine, eggs, and spices which was commonly fed to invalids, in the latter part of the eighteenth century. The caudle spoon, perforated or entire, but with a longer handle and smaller bowl than the caddy spoon, was employed to stir the mixture. It is now obsolete, as is the snuff spoon, another relic of the whimsical customs of yore. There was a[Pg 232] season when it was stylish to carry a snuffbox, and to take a pinch one's self, now and then, or to offer it to a friend. The snuff spoon was used to avoid dipping the fingers into the powder, which would of course stain both finger nails and cuticle.

As the caddy was the companion piece of the caddy spoon, so the caudle bowl is associated with the caudle spoon. A Salem specimen stands six inches high, and has a capacity of three pints. It has two handles, and is embellished by a broad chasing at the base, and by fluted chasing about the body. The caudle cup used with it is severely plain, but has a good outline.

Tankards both with and without covers were in common use, toward the close of the seventeenth century. In size, they varied from a capacity of one quart to three. They were often fitted with a whistle, by the blowing of which the butler's attention could be called to the fact that the tankard needed filling. From this custom arose the old saying, "Let him whistle for it." The singular expression, "A plate of ale" comes from the fact that in old inventories, tankards are listed as "ale plates."

The largest Salem specimen has a capacity of one quart only, and is beautifully chased around[Pg 233] the body and upon the cover in a rose-and-pineapple design. This chasing is much worn, not only by the passage of time, but also by the pitiless polishing of the methodical New England housekeeper. This is a straight-sided tankard, with a well-curved top, which necessitates a long and tapering thumb piece. The handle is large and well-tapered, extending well above the rim. All these specimens belong to the Revolutionary epoch.

Plate LXII.—Old Silver Coffee Urn with Pineapple finial; Sheffield Plate Teapot, formerly owned by Thomas Jefferson; Tall Silver Pitcher, of flagon influence. Plate LXII.—Old Silver Coffee Urn with Pineapple finial; Sheffield Plate Teapot, formerly owned by Thomas Jefferson; Tall Silver Pitcher, of flagon influence.

The style of silver made and used in this country during the first half of the nineteenth century is well typified by the sugar, creamer, and teapot contained in an old-time collection. The teapot and sugar bowl are adorned with a pineapple finial. This style was originated by Cary Dunn of New York at the close of the Revolution, and won immense popularity. The pineapple, which is its most notable decoration, has always been accepted as the emblem of hospitality; while the primrose pattern about base and body is neat and tasteful. The lines in these designs are less severely simple than in some, but are excellent, nevertheless.

Another favorite style of this same period is shown in a graceful little pitcher in another collection,[Pg 234] having for sole ornament a rosette where the handle joins the body. Rosettes were high in favor in the early part of the nineteenth century, and were shown in the furniture of that day as well as in the silverware.

Another charming pitcher which stands upon three legs is a veritable prize, literally as well as figuratively. During the War of 1812, our Salem privateers seized many a valuable cargo. Among the confiscated treasures was this dainty little silver pitcher, handsomely engraved, and bearing the coat of arms of a prominent English family. In the division of the confiscated goods, this article fell to an ancestor of the owner, who received it by inheritance.

Plate LXIII.—Several old Silver pieces; Collection of Salem Silver, almost all inherited; Wonderfully fine Silver Bowl. Plate LXIII.—Several old Silver pieces; Collection of Salem Silver, almost all inherited; Wonderfully fine Silver Bowl.

Another interesting bit of silver, belonging to the same period as the pitcher, is a cruet stand. Fifty years ago these were in common use upon the tables of our ancestors. Fashion has relegated them to the sideboard or to the top shelf, where the old-fashioned, high silver cake basket keeps them company in exile. To the same period belongs the teapot showing a rosette bowl, and mushroom-shaped finial, which was among the bride's presents at a wedding in 1804, while the sugar and creamer included in the same collection[Pg 235] belong to a later date, as they were bridal presents received in 1867. The beauty of the lines in these two specimens falls far short of the standard set by American manufacturers of colonial times.

Still in use and highly prized is the wonderful old bowl which is in another collection. For many years this bowl was lost, and though diligent search was made for it, it was not discovered until one day the owner and some friends, riding through a rural district, stopped at a well in a farmhouse yard for a drink. Close at hand a pig was eating from a peculiar-looking receptacle, which, though blackened and mud-stained, yet showed an interesting contour. Negotiations were entered into with the house owner for the purchase of this receptacle, and it was secured for twenty-five cents. When polished, it was found to be the long-missing bowl, which has since then been called the hog bowl.

Other specimens still preserved include a tall sugar bowl, mounted upon a standard, which is more than a hundred years old, as are the tongs used with it, with their delicate acorn-cup pattern. In the larger piece, the rings which form the handles pass through the mouth of a dog's head,[Pg 236] upon each side. The feet which support the standard suggest the work done in the furniture of that day by Chippendale, Sheraton, and their followers. To the latter days of the eighteenth century belong an endless yet interesting variety of patterns of porringers, salvers, sugar bowls, perforated baskets for loaf sugar, tea and coffee pots, and innumerable table utensils.

Another article which is now found but rarely is the nutmeg holder or spice box. The interior of the lid was roughed for use as a grater, and few were the "night caps" but had a final touch added through its use. While the usefulness of the spice box and the snuffbox has long since passed away, yet they are treasured because of the pictures they bring to the mind's eye of the old days of the Georges. No product of the present can outvie the charms of such old silver.

All things colonial, whether house or accessory, are distinctive, and to the designers and craftsmen of that period the world owes a debt that no amount of tribute can ever wholly repay. Colonial is synonymous of the best, and objects created during its influence are always of a higher degree of perfection than the best of other periods. Looking about for a reason for this, we are confronted[Pg 237] with the realization that the work of that time was carefully planned and carefully finished, craftsmen giving to their output the best their brains could devise, and allowing no reason, however urgent, to interfere with the completion of a certain object as they had originally planned it to be. Therein lies the real reason of the superiority of things colonial. Later-day artisans sacrificed quality to quantity; they complied with the demand of public opinion, and as that demand became more urgent, carelessness of detail became more marked. The simplicity of the colonial era gave way to the highly decorative and often ugly ornamentation characteristic of late nineteenth-century manufacture, and it was not until a few craftsmen found courage to revive colonial features that the beauty of that type of construction was truly appreciated. To-day, colonial influence is again dominant, and it is a relief to note that in modern homes it is usurping in favor its hitherto prized successors. It is only to be hoped that its influence will be lasting, for surely of all types it is the most worthy of emulation.[Pg 238]


Abbot, General, 25.
house, 78, 109, 153.
Adam brothers, 98, 103, 128, 140, 215.
Adams, Abraham, 95, 138.
family, 95, 138.
John, 88.
the decorator, 69.
Albree, John, 152.
Alden, John, 111.
Allen, John Fiske, 51.
house, 51, 52.
of Lowestoft, 182.
Amesbury, Mass., 37.
Andirons, 67-69.
Andrews, John, 21, 101.
house, 13, 21, 84, 85.
"Angel Gabriel" (ship), 102.
Appleton, John, 163.
Architects, English, 8.
Architecture, Dutch, 2.
Gothic, 4.
Architrave, decoration of, 18.
Argand, Mons., 168.
Assembly house, 18, 24.
Atkinson collection, 200.
Ausberg, Germany, 212.
Austria, 197.

Bagnall, Benjamin, 147.
Samuel, 148.
Barcelona, Spain, 213.
Barnard, Dr. Thomas, 81.
Bartol, Dr. Cyrus, 81.
Bavaria, 196.
Bay of Biscay, 135.
Bedrooms, 122, 125.
Beds, accessories of, 124.
Adam, 128.
antique, 120.
bunk, 126, 127.
carved, 27.
Chippendale, 127, 128.
cupboard, 122, 126.
Egyptian, 121.
Field, 131.
Flemish, 121.
folding, 127.
four-poster, 123-131.
"Great Bed of Ware," 122, 123.
Greek, 121.
hangings, 124.
Hepplewhite, 128, 130.
inlaid, 128.
mahogany, 127.
oak, 122.
paneled, 127.
"Presse," 126, 127.
primeval, 121.
Queen Anne, 126.
Roman, 121.
Sheraton, 128.
"slaw-back," 127.
"Wild Bill" or one-poster, 126.
Benson house, 109.
Bigelow collection, 219.
Billingsley, William, 187.
roses, 187.
Bishop, Bridget, 26.
Black Point, Maine, 43.
Blankets, home-made, 124.
Bloor, Robert, 188.
Bohemia, 196, 197.
Boston, Mass., 5, 43, 71, 74, 147, 148, 149, 217, 219.
Bottles, 203, 205-209.
arched, 206.
bases of, 205.
calabash, 206.
canteen, 207.
circular, 206.
curio, 209.
decorated, 207-209.
designs on, 206.
flask, 207.
Jackson, 208.
Jenny Lind, 207.
Kossuth, 207.
liquor, 208.
Moses, 209.
oldest American, 207.
oval, 206.
rim of, 206.
Santa Claus, 209.
signs of age in, 205.
spherical, 206.
Taylor and Bragg, 207.
Venetian, 209.
Bow, England, 183, 186.
Bradford, Governor, quoted, 42.
Bricks, Dutch, 9.
gray-faced, 13, 14.
Briot, Francis, 212.
Bristol, R. I., 12, 60, 101, 131.
Brown Inn, 173.
Bumstead, 6, 80.
Byfield, Mass., 95, 126, 138, 173.

Cabins, log, 2.
Cabot, Mr., 141.
house, 7, 22, 53.
Joseph, 7, 22.
Caliga collection, 220.
Cambridge, Mass., 37.
Candelabra, 167, 169, 170.
Candle, 231.
bowl, 232.
cup, 232.
spoon, 231.
Candles, 159, 160-165.
bayberry, 164.
dip, 165.
makers, 166.
making, 163, 164, 165.
molds, 165.
sperm, 163.
suet, 161.
tallow, 161, 165.
wickless, 161.
Candlesticks, 159, 167.
brass, 167.
iron, 167.
pewter, 167.
silver, 167.
tin, 167.
Cape Cod, 42.
Capen house, 55.
Carving, art of, 18.
Ceilings, low, 3.
raftered, 66.
Cellar, large, 10.
Chairs, arm, 94, 98.
banister-back, 94.
brass mounted, 101.
carved, 95, 98, 99, 100.
Chinese type, 98, 99.
Chippendale, 97, 98.
comb back, 97.
Dutch, 95, 98.
early colonial, 93.
Empire type, 101, 102.
fan back, 97.
forms, 93.
French types, 98, 100.
heart-back, 100.
Hepplewhite, 97, 99, 100.
inlaid, 100.
japanned, 100.
Louis the Fifteenth type, 98.
Martha Washington, 101
painted, 95, 97, 102.
ribbon-back, 98.
rocking, 94.
rush seated, 95.
settles, 93.
Sheraton, 97, 100, 101.
shield-back, 100.
slat-back, 94.
stuffed easy, 96.
turned, 93.
Windsor, 96, 97.
Chandeliers, 169.
Chelsea, England, 183, 186.
Chests, 105-110.
drop handle, 109.
hand-carved, 107.
highboys, 109, 110.
imported, 106, 107.
legs of, 108.
linen, 108.
lowboys, 109, 110.
"magic," 107.
mahogany, 106.
on frames, 108.
"owld pine," 106, 107.
size of, 106.
use of, 106.
with drawers, 107.
Chimney pots, 19.
Chimneys, catted, 2.
central, 7.
China, Empire of, 80, 181, 184, 185, 211, 229.
China, 172, 216.
caddies, 229.
cream ware, 191.
Crown Derby, 182, 186-188.
Delft, 177-180, 185.
jasper, 191.
Lowestoft, 175, 181-185.
luster, 191.
salt glaze, 173, 174.
Staffordshire, 173-176.
toby jugs, 175-177.
Wedgwood, 189-191.
Chippendale (designer), 92, 97, 98, 99, 112, 114, 127, 128, 136, 140, 146, 236.
Choate, Joseph, 22.
"Christmas Carol," 22.
Claudius, Emperor, 145.
Clocks, American, 146, 148, 150, 151, 153-157.
Bagnall, 147.
banjo, 149.
"birdcage," 153.
cases, 151.
Chippendale, 146.
construction of, 149, 150, 152, 154, 155, 156.
Doolittle, 148.
first, 145.
grandfather's, 151, 153.
hangings, 150.
"lantern," 153.
Makers' union, 146.
making in Salem, 150.
musical, 148.
of Europe, 146.
one-day, 157.
patent shelf, 153, 154.
pillar scroll top case, 155.
Sheraton, 146.
striking, 148.
table, 151.
Terry, 150, 153.
"wag-at-the-wall," 153.
wall and bracket, 151, 153.
water, 145.
weaver's, 152.
wick, 145.
Willard, 148, 149.
Coal, discovery of, 75.
first use of, 74.
Cogswell house, 125.
Collections, Atkinson, 200.
Bigelow, 219.
Caliga, 220.
Hosmer, 147.
Mansfield, Nathaniel B., 109.
Metropolitan Museum, 209.
Middleton, 11, 131.
Mitchell, 199-200.
Page, 175, 180.
Rogers, 191.
Waters, 93, 102, 108, 202.
West, 189, 202.
Colonial products, superiority of, 236, 237.
Columns, Corinthian, 12.
Grecian, 17.
plain, 21, 122.
Common, Salem, 21, 25.
Cook, Captain Samuel, 77.
Dr. Elisha, 15.
Cony, John, 225.
Counterpane, homespun, 125.
Craigie house, 37.
Crowell, Rev. Robert, 125.
Crown Derby, 182.
"Bloor-Derby," 188.
decline of, 188.
early output of, 186.
epoch par excellence, 187.
factory, 186, 187, 188.
Crowninshield house, 38, 71.
Cupboards, colonial, 1, 72.
shell-top, 173.
Cupola, 9.

Danvers, Mass., 5, 10, 19, 44, 46, 49, 60.
Delft, Holland, 178, 179.
Delft ware, best examples of, 179.
decline of Dutch, 179, 180.
Dutch, 177, 178, 179, 180.
English, 178, 180.
first potteries, 179.
old, 177.
origin of, 178.
plates, 180.
tiles, 180.
Derby, Elias Hasket, farm, 47, 49, 50.
Elias Hersey, 50.
house, 77, 78.
Desks, bookcase, 112.
bureau, 111.
Chippendale secretary, 112.
French Empire, 113.
Hepplewhite secretary, 112.
"scrutoir," 110, 111.
Sheraton secretary, 112.
Devereux, Humphrey, house, 52.
Dexter, "Lord" Timothy, house, 99.
Dickens, Charles, quoted, 39.
Doolittle, Enos, 148.
Doorways, narrow, 22, 25.
pineapple, 27.
Downing, Emanuel, 4.
George, 4.
"Dr. Grimshawe's Secret," 24.
Dressing tables, 109.
Duesbury, William and son, 186, 187, 188.
Duke of Baden, 220.
Duke of Devonshire's house, 39.
Dummer, Governor William, 225.
house, 173.
Jeremiah, 225.
Dunbarton, N. H., 8, 130, 151.
Dunn, Cary, 226, 233.
Dutch architecture, 2.
East India Company, 185.
ware, 177, 178, 179, 180.

East Windsor, Conn., 150.
Edinburgh, Scotland, 212, 216.
Elector of Brandenburg, 200.
Elizabethan period, 4.
Embargo, the, 11.
Enderlein, Gasper, 212.
Endicott, Governor John, 2, 4, 44, 105.
farm, 44.
house, 10.
England, 2, 3, 8, 9, 35, 39, 41, 43, 64, 80, 82, 86, 128, 134, 135, 136, 139, 142, 147, 152, 157, 161, 167, 174, 183, 185, 201, 202, 203, 211, 214, 215, 217, 221, 223, 226, 230.
Etruria factory, 190.
Exeter, England, 146.

Fabens, Mr., 71.
Faulkner, Dr. G., 149.
"Feast of Roses," 205.
Fell, Judge Jesse, 75.
Felt, Captain Jonathan P., 49.
Felt's Annals, quoted, 150.
Fenders, 75, 76, 77.
Fireback, 71-72.
Firedogs, 66.
Fire frames, 73-74.
Fireplace, accessories, 65, 66, 67.
brass, 77.
colonial, 64, 65.
construction of, 65.
Elizabethan, 64.
Gove, 70.
inglenook, 64.
Louis Sixteenth, 64.
modern, 63, 64.
of Middle Ages, 63.
of Renaissance, 63, 64.
Queen Anne, 64.
Robinson, 71.
soapstone, 78.
tiled, 76.
Fire sets, 66, 67.
Flint and steel, 170.
Floor, sanded, 66.
Forrester house, 21.
France, 80, 86, 135, 167, 212.
Franklin, Benjamin, 94.
stores, 73, 74, 75, 76.

Gardens, 11, 13, 41.
Allen, 51, 52.
at Indian Hill, 48.
at Oak Knoll, 47.
Cabot, 53.
Captain Peabody's, 46.
Derby, 50.
features of old-fashioned, 44, 45.
Humphrey Devereux, 52.
location of, 45, 46, 51.
Mrs. Perry's, 48.
nucleus of, 43.
of George Heussler, 49, 50.
Salem, 49.
Gardiner house, 21.
George house, 141.
George II, 96.
George III, 69, 100, 230.
Georgetown, Mass., 83, 107.
Georgian period, 127.
Gerard, quoted, 44.
Germantown, Mass., 163.
Germany, 197, 212.
Gibbon (designer), 143.
Glasgow, Scotland, 212.
Glass, baluster stem, 202.
beads, 203.
blown, 205.
Bohemian, 195, 197-199, 204.
bonbon dishes, 200.
bottles, 203, 205-209.
bowls, 203, 204.
cameo incrusted, 199.
choiceness determined, 103.
colored, 197, 201.
cutting of, 198.
decanters, 200, 201, 202.
drinking, 201.
English, 201.
engraved, 196, 197, 198, 202.
etched, 199.
factories, 197, 198, 204.
first made, 194.
French, 199.
gilded, 196, 197.
goblets, 204.
green German, 196.
historic flasks, 206.
legend of, 196.
making in Rome, 195.
origin of, 195.
painted, 196, 197.
Portland Vase, 192, 195.
ruby colored, 199-200.
Russian, 203.
salt cellar, 199, 200.
toddy, 201, 202.
tumblers, 201-202.
vases, 198, 199.
Venetian, 195, 198.
white twist stem, 202.
wine, 202.
Glastonbury Abbey, 146.
Gothic architecture, 4.
Gove house, 70.
Governor's Field, 4.
Island, 42.
Grafton, Mass., 148.
"Guild of St. Luke," 179.

Hallway, Capen house, 55.
colonial, 54.
eighteenth and nineteenth century, 56, 57.
entry, 61.
finish of, 59.
"Hey Bonnie Hall," 60, 61.
Lee, 58, 60.
Old English, 55, 58.
paneled, 56, 57, 59.
papered, 59.
spacious, 57, 58.
Stark, 56.
Warner, 56, 57, 90-91.
Wentworth, 58, 59.
Hamilton, Mass., 71.
Hamilton Hall, 141, 166.
Hangings, bed, chintz, 124.
linen, 124.
patch, 124, 130.
Harland, Thomas, 150.
Harris, Mrs. Walter L., 136.
Harrod house, 138, 203.
Hartford, Conn., 147, 148.
Harvard College, 4.
Haverhill, Mass., 76, 129.
Hawthorne, Nathaniel, 24, 26, 37, 102, 224.
Heard house, 93.
Hearth accessories, 66, 67.
Hepplewhite (designer), 92, 97, 99, 100, 110, 112, 114, 115, 128.
"Hermitage," 87.
Heussler, George, 49.
"Hey Bonnie Hall," 11, 60, 61, 101.
Higginson, Governor, 161.
Rev. Francis, quoted, 41.
"Highfield," 95, 126, 138.
High Rock, Mass., 95.
Hillsboro, N. H., 89, 90, 115, 151.
Hinges, wrought-iron, 9.
Hingham, Mass., 93.
"History of Essex," 125.
Hoadley, Silas, 155.
Hoffman, Captain, 52.
Holland, 2, 9, 41, 43, 80, 96, 135, 177, 179, 180, 182, 184, 185, 196, 212.
Holmes, Oliver Wendell, 130.
Hosmer collection, 147.
"House of Seven Gables," 37.
Houses, Abbot, General, 78, 109, 153.
Albree, 152.
Allen, 52.
Andrews, 13, 21, 84, 85.
Assembly, 18, 24.
Bell or Brick, 190.
Benson, 109.
brick, 3, 13, 14, 19, 56.
Brown Inn, 173.
Cabot, 7, 22, 53.
Capen, 55.
Cogswell, 125.
colonial, 7.
Craigie, 37.
Crowninshield, 38, 71.
Derby, 77, 78.
Devereux, Humphrey, 52.
Devonshire's, Duke of, 39.
Dexter, 99.
Dummer, 173.
Endicott, 10.
finest, 8.
Forrester, 21.
frame, 2, 55.
gambrel-roofed, 3, 10, 19, 55.
Gardiner, 21.
George, 141.
Gove, 70.
Hamilton Hall, 141, 166.
Harrod, 138, 203.
Heard, 93.
"Hermitage," 87.
"Hey Bonnie Hall," 11, 60, 61, 101.
"Highfield," 95, 126, 138.
historic, 5, 6, 8, 12.
Howe, 111, 115, 129.
"Indian Hill," 12, 48.
Johnson's, Dr., 39.
Kimball, 18, 83.
Kittredge, 142, 201.
Knapp, 87.
Lee, 8, 58, 60, 87, 89.
Lindall-Andrews, 80, 81.
Little, 70.
log cabin, 2.
Long, 93.
Lord, 22, 138, 139, 142.
Mansfield, 71.
mansion, 3, 8, 10, 19, 56.
Maryland Manor, 11.
May, 37.
Meyer, 71.
Middleton, 131.
Mount Vernon, 131.
Nichols, 200.
Noyes, 113.
Oak Knoll, 47, 60.
of 52 rooms, 10.
Oliver, 77.
Osgood, 109, 143, 168.
Page, 5, 6.
Pickering, 4, 5, 72, 76, 109.
Pierce, 89, 115, 151.
Pierce-Jahonnot, 25.
Pierce-Nichols, 139.
Robinson, 71.
Ropes, 111.
Salem Club, 70.
Saltonstall-Howe, 76.
Sanders, 70.
Silsbee, 21.
Southern, 12.
Sprague, 169.
Stark, 8, 56, 115, 130, 151.
Stearns, 6.
Steigel, 204.
Warner, 9, 56, 90, 109, 169.
Waters, 38, 77, 202.
Wentworth, 10, 58.
Wheelright, 88.
Whipple, 7, 25, 87.
White House, 11.
Whittier, 37, 47, 60.
Howe, Mrs. Guerdon, 111.
house, 111, 115, 129.
Hull, Betsey, 224.
John, 224.

Ince (designer), 98.
"Indian Hill," 12, 48.
Indians, 203.
Ipswich, Mass., 5, 7, 93.
Ironworks, American, 204.
Italy, 135, 197, 212.
Ivy Works, Burslem, 190.

Jackson, Andrew, 87.
of Battersea, 81.
Jacobean period, 127.
Jamaica Plain, Mass., 169.
James VI, 214.
Jamestown, Va., 203.
Japan, 80, 179, 211.
Jarves, James Jackson, 209.
Jerome, Chauncey, 157.
Jesse, David, 224.
Johnson's, Dr., house, 39.
Josslyn, John, quoted, 43.

Kean, Michael, 188.
Kensington, Philadelphia, 203.
Kimball house, 18, 83.
King Philip's War, 116.
Kitchen, colonial, 66.
Kittredge house, 142, 201.
Knapp house, 87.
Knockers, antique, 35.
brass, 22, 30, 33, 34.
disappearance of, 31.
eagle, 35, 36, 37.
English, 9.
fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, 30.
garland, 35.
Georgian urn, 35, 36.
Gothic, 33.
historic, 37.
horseshoe, 36.
invention of, 29.
iron, 7, 30, 33, 36.
lion and ring, 35.
London, 38-39.
May house, 37, 38.
medieval, 33.
Mexican, 36.
plate or escutcheon, 33, 34.
price of, 34.
Renaissance, 33, 37.
reproductions of, 34.
thumb latch, 8, 22, 35, 38.
types of, 29.
Knox, General, 25.
Henry, 138.
Kunckel (artist), 200.

Lafayette, General, 24.
Lamps, Betty, 162.
glass, 168.
unique specimen, 162.
whale-oil, 166.
wick, 162.
with glass prisms, 169, 170.
Lanterns, 162.
gilded, 168.
painted, 168.
Larcom, Lucy, 6.
Latches, thumb, 8, 22, 35, 38.
Lean-to, 3, 7.
Lee, Colonel Jeremiah, house, 8, 58, 60, 87, 89.
Leghorn, Italy, 131.
Lehmann, Gasper, 198.
Leslie's Retreat, 7, 81.
Leverett, Governor John, 115.
Thomas, 15.
Lightfoot, Peter, 146.
Lights, candelabra, 167, 169.
candle, 159, 160, 161, 163-166.
candlewood, 159, 160, 161.
chandeliers, 169.
electric, 159.
fire, 159, 160.
from flint and steel, 170.
gas, 159.
lamp, 162, 169.
lantern, 162, 168.
pine torch, 159, 160.
rush, 162.
Lindall, Judge, 80.
Lindall-Andrews house, 80, 81.
Little, Hon. David M., house, 70.
Little Harbor, N. H., 10, 58.
London, 167, 214, 215, 225.
London Guild or Worshipful Company of Pewterers, 215.
Long, Hon. John D., 93.
house, 93.
Longfellow, Anne Sewall, 95.
Lord, Nathaniel, 23.
house, 22, 138, 139, 142.
Lowestoft, 181, 186.
coat-of-arms, 183.
controversy, 185.
decoration of, 183, 184.
factory, 182, 184, 185.
first ware, 182.
Holland, 182.
Oriental, 181.
red, 183.
Luster ware, 191.
copper, 192, 193.
gold, 192, 193.
jugs, 192.
silver-tinted, 192.
Sunderland, 192.
Lynn, Mass., 72, 95, 175, 193.

Macpheadris, Captain, 9.
Mary, 9.
McIntyre, Samuel, 18, 47, 69, 70, 71, 77, 140.
Manchester, Mass., 56, 199, 200.
Mannheim, Germany, 204.
Pa., 204.
Mansfield, Mrs. Nathaniel B., 71.
collection, 109.
Mantlepieces, 63, 64, 70.
in Little house, 70.
marble, 70.
narrow, 64.
Oliver house, 77.
Renaissance, 64.
Salem Club, 70.
Sanders house, 70.
Manwaring (designer), 98.
Marblehead, Mass., 8, 60, 81, 87, 135.
Historical Society, 89.
Marseilles, France, 146.
Maryland Manor, 11.
"Mayflower," the, 111.
Mayhew (designer), 98.
May house, 37.
Merchant princes, 19.
Metropolitan Museum, 209.
Mexican War, 207.
Meyer, Hon. George von L., 71.
Middleton, Moses, 11.
collection, 11, 131.
house, 131.
Militia, first company of, 7.
Mills, Henry, 153.
Mirrors, Adam, 140.
Bilboa, 135.
bull's-eye, 140.
Chippendale, 136, 140.
Constitution, 137.
"Courtney," 143.
frames, 134.
girandole, 140, 141.
glass, 134.
knobs, 137.
Lafayette, 143.
late colonial, 141, 142.
mantel, 139-140.
metal, 133, 134.
origin of, 133.
paneled, 141, 142, 143.
Queen Anne, 136.
Venetian, 134, 142.
with cornice overhanging, 138, 141.
Mitchell collection, 199-200.
Money, first paper, 225.
Mount Vernon, 131.
Mullikin, Samuel, 150.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 211.
Myers, Myer, 225.

Nashville, Tenn., 87.
Newburyport, Mass., 48, 49, 73, 87, 88, 99, 113, 138, 180, 203.
New England Historical Genealogical Society of Boston, 147.
Newton, Mass., 37, 138, 139, 142.
Nichols house, 200.
North Andover, Mass., 142.
Noyes house, 113.
Nuremberg, Germany, 212.

Oak Knoll, 47, 60.
"Old Christmas," 65.
Old Tom, Indian chieftain, 12.
Oliver, Henry K., house, 77.
Osgood house, 109, 143, 168.

Page, Colonel Jeremiah, 6.
collection, 175, 180.
house, 5, 6.
Mistress, 6.
Panels, hand-made, 9.
Parties at Salem, 167.
Peabody, Captain Joseph, 11, 46, 70.
Elizabeth, 24.
Joseph Augustus, 46.
Sophia, 24.
Peacock Inn, 4.
Pearson, Ebenezer, 73.
Perkins, Dr. George, 74.
Perry, Mrs. Charles, 48.
Pewter, 71, 162, 167, 168, 194, 210.
American, 217.
chargers, 210, 219.
collections of, 219, 220.
composition of, 210.
development in France, 212.
Dutch, 212.
ecclesiastical, 213, 218.
English, 213, 215, 217.
flagon, 212.
French, 216.
German, 212.
guilds, 215, 216.
historic teapot, 220.
household, 213, 214, 219.
imitation, 218-219.
in Rome, 211.
in sixteenth century, 214.
Japanese, 211, 221.
lamps, 219, 220.
marks on, 214-221.
old, 211.
origin of, 211, 213.
plates, 210, 219, 221.
rarest in existence, 221.
salver, 212.
Scotch, 212, 216.
seals, 211.
Spanish, 213.
tankards, 210, 219.
use discontinued, 216.
value of, 217.
where used, 213-214.
Pewterer's Hall, London, 215.
Philadelphia, Pa., 28, 51, 75, 208.
Phipps, Governor, 90.
Pickering, Alice, 72.
house, 4, 5, 72, 76, 109.
John, 4, 5, 72.
Rev. Theophilus, 76.
Timothy, 5, 109.
Pierce, Franklin, 89.
Governor, 89.
house, 89, 115, 151.
Mr., 25.
Pierce-Jahonnot house, 25.
Pierce-Nichols house, 139.
Pilasters, fluted, 22.
Pilgrim Hall, 93.
Pillars, carved, 8.
packed with salt, 14.
Pitcher, Moll, 95.
Planche, Mons., 186, 188.
Plants and flowers, 41, 42.
azaleas, 52.
camellias, 52.
night-blooming cereus, 50.
oxeye daisy, 44.
peonies, 53.
pitcher plant, 43.
tulips, 53.
Victoria Regia, 51.
whiteweed, 44.
wild, 42.
woadwaxen, 44.
Plymouth, Conn., 155.
County, 217.
Mass., 93.
Poore, Major Benjamin Perky, 48.
Porcelain, Chinese, 179, 185.
Japanese, 179.
Lowestoft, 184.
Porch, Andrews, 21.
Assembly House, 24.
circular, 13, 17, 21.
construction of, 17.
contour, 17.
Dutch, 25.
Gardiner, 21.
hand-carved, 17, 18, 24.
historic, 20, 24.
inclosed, 23, 54.
Lord, 22.
Middle States, 9.
New England, 17, 19, 28.
oblong, 17.
Philadelphia, 28.
Pickman, 27.
Pierce-Jahonnot, 25-26.
Robinson, 14.
side, 14, 22, 23.
Southern, 17, 19.
square, 17.
three-cornered, 17.
types of, 19, 20.
Portland Vase, 195.
replica of, 192.
Portsmouth, N. H., 9, 10, 90, 109, 169.
Poynton, Captain Thomas, 27.
Putnam, General Israel, 111.

Quincy, Mass., 163.

Redmond, John, 166.
Reformation, the, 214.
Revere, Paul, 225.
Revolution, the, 3, 4, 7, 9, 10, 19, 35, 69, 89, 94, 97, 113, 135, 143, 226, 229, 233.
Rhode Island, 11.
Ridout, George, 225.
Robinson, Nathan, 14.
house, 71.
Rogers collection, 191.
Rome, Italy, 211.
Roof, flat, 20.
gambrel, 8, 9.
pitched, 7.
thatched, 2.
Ropes, Caleb, 51.
house, 111.
Rose (potter), 183.
mark, 183.
Rotterdam, china warehouse at, 184.
Rouseley, England, 4.
Rowley, Mass., 141.
Roxbury, Mass., 148.

Salem, Mass., 4, 6, 7, 11, 13, 18, 20, 23, 24, 25, 28, 36, 38, 46, 49, 60, 69, 70, 71, 72, 74, 77, 80, 84, 93, 95, 101, 102, 108, 109, 130, 132, 138, 139, 141, 143, 150, 153, 162, 164, 166, 168, 169, 189, 200, 202, 203, 217, 220, 223, 232.
Salem Club, 70.
Saltonstall, Dr. Nathaniel, 76, 130.
family, 141.
Sir Richard, 130.
Saltonstall-Howe house, 76.
Sanders, Thomas, house, 70.
Saugus, Mass., 72, 153.
Saxony, 186, 196.
Schwanhard, George, 198.
Sconces, in Osgood house, 168.
wall, 167.
Scotland, 9, 212, 214.
Sharp, William, 52.
Shearer (designer), 114.
Sheraton (designer), 92, 97, 100-102, 112, 128, 146, 236.
Shoemaker, Colonel George, 75.
Sideboards, 113, 114.
Chippendale, 114.
Empire, 116.
Hepplewhite, 114.
inlaid, 115.
Shearer, 114.
Sheraton, 115.
Silesia, 196.
Silsbee house, 21.
Silver, American, 223, 224.
baronial, 223.
beaker, 224.
bowls, 225, 226, 232, 233, 234, 235.
caddy, 229, 232.
cake basket, 234.
candle bowl, 232.
candlesticks, 225.
cans, 226.
chased, 232, 233.
communion service, 223.
creamer, 234.
cruet stand, 234.
English, 224.
engraved, 226, 232.
hallmarks on, 224, 226, 230, 231.
"hog" bowl, 235.
of Paul Revere, 225.
pitcher, 233.
plates, 225.
snuffbox, 232, 236.
spice box, 236.
spoons, 226-232.
table utensils, 236.
tankards, 232, 233.
teapots, 226, 233, 234.
tongs, 235.
Simpson, Dr. James E., 52.
Snuffer boats, 168.
Snuffers, 168.
Sofas, 97, 102.
Adam, 103.
Chippendale, 103.
Cornucopia, 103.
Darby and Joan, 103.
Empire, 104.
haircloth, 103.
Louis XV, 103.
Sheraton, 103.
Spain, 135, 212, 213.
Spofford, Harriet Prescott, 73.
Spoons, "Apostle," 227, 228.
"caddy," 228, 229, 231, 232.
candle, 231.
imitations, 230, 231.
"rat-tail," 226.
snuff, 231.
teaspoons, 226.
Sprague, Joseph, 6
house, 169.
Staffordshire factories, 173, 175, 184.
Staircase, 55, 59.
balusters, 59.
"Hey Bonnie Hall," 61.
"Oak Knoll," 60.
spiral, 60.
winder, 60.
Stark, Charles Morris, 9.
Major Caleb, 8.
house, 8, 56, 115, 130, 151.
State House, Boston, 15.
Stearns house, 6.
Steigel Baron, 204.
house, 204.
Stogumber Church, Somerset, 39.
Stoves, "Cat Stone," 75.
Franklin, 73, 74, 75, 76.
hub grate, 75, 76, 77.
Summer house, 44.
on Peabody estate, 46-47.
Susquehanna Valley, 75.
Sutton Mills, Andover, 47.
Swampscott, Mass., 152.
Switzerland, 212.

Tables, butterfly, 116.
card, 118.
chair, 117.
dining, 117, 118.
dish-top, 117.
Dutch, 117, 118.
Empire, 118.
hundred-legged, 117.
Kidney, 117.
Pembroke, 118.
pie-crust, 118.
Pied, 118.
pouch, 117.
Sheraton, 117.
table-top, 117.
tea, 117.
telescopic, 118.
writing, 117.
Terry, Eli, 150, 153, 154, 155.
family, 150.
Thomas, Seth, 155, 156.
Tiles, 76, 180, 181.
Tobies, Bennington, 177.
Dutch, 175.
French, 175.
German, 175.
Napoleon, 175, 176.
old, 176.
Staffordshire, 175.
teapot, 177.
young, 176.
Topsfield, Mass., 55.
Tracy, John, 49.
Tragees (silversmith), 226.
Trees, on Derby farm, 50.
on Indian Hill, 48.
on Peabody estate, 46.
Turgot, Mons., 216.

Van Dyck, Richard, 225.
Vineyard and orchard, 42.

Wall papers, "Adventures of Telemachus," 87.
"Bay of Naples," 88.
block printing of, 80, 81.
chariot race, 88.
"Cupid and Psyche," 85.
"Don Quixote," 84.
English, 86, 87.
English hunt, 84.
foreign scenes, 86, 88.
French, 86, 87.
importation of, 82.
landscape, 88, 89.
made to order, 83, 89.
origin of, 80.
panels of, 81.
Parisian views, 88.
picture, 79, 81.
roll, 81.
Roman ruins, 89.
squares of, 81.
Venetian scenes, 88.
Walls, painted, 81-83, 90, 91.
thick, 9.
unplastered, 66.
Ware, Isaac, quoted, 72.
Ware, wooden, 213.
Warner, Hon. Jonathan, 10, 169.
house, 9, 56, 90, 109, 169.
War of 1812, 143, 234.
Warren, Russell, 11.
Washington, George, 10, 25, 88, 130, 138.
quoted, 25.
Washingtonian period, 19.
Waterbury, Conn., 155.
Waters, Fitz, 202.
collection, 93, 102, 108, 202.
house, 38, 77, 202.
Wayland, Mass., 35.
Webster, Daniel, 23, 111.
Fletcher, 23.
Wedgwood ware, 189.
cream, 191.
jasper, 191.
Portland Vase, 192, 195.
Queen's ware, 190.
Wedgwood, Josiah, 189, 190, 191, 192.
Well room, the, 12.
Wentworth, Governor Benning, 10, 115.
house, 10, 58.
Sir John, 12.
West, Mrs. William C., 189.
collection, 189, 202.
Westminster Abbey, 146.
Westmoreland County, England, 211.
West Newbury, Mass., 12, 48.
Wheelwright, William, 88.
house, 88.
Whieldon, Thomas, 189.
Whipple, Major George, 87.
house, 7, 23, 87.
White, Captain Joseph, 22.
Stephen, 23.
White House, Washington, 11.
Whittier, John Greenleaf, 47, 73.
garden, 47.
house, 37, 47, 160.
Wilkes-barre, Pa., 75.
William and Mary, 127.
Willard, Aaron, 148.
Benjamin, 148.
Simon, 149.
Windows, bull's-eye, 57.
diamond paned, 13.
dormer, 9.
fanlight, 61.
leaded, 5.
Lutheran, 9.
Windsor, England, 96.
Winthrop, Governor, 42, 161.
Wise, Rev. John, 76.
Witchcraft days, 26.
Woods used, apple, 101, 112.
cherry, 108, 111, 112, 148.
forest trees, 106.
hard, 59, 95.
harewood, 129.
holly, 114.
mahogany, 59, 61, 99, 100, 101, 102, 106, 108, 112, 114, 115, 127.
maple, 109, 114.
oak, 108, 147.
pine, 147.
rosewood, 101, 102.
satinwood, 100, 101, 114, 129.
soft, 59, 95.
sycamore, 129.
tulip, 101, 114.
walnut, 60, 108, 111, 112, 129, 147.
white, 2, 129.

Yule log, 64.

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