Victorian Treasures: An Album for Collectors

Victorian Treasures: An Album for Collectors

by Carol McD Wallace
     
 

The Victorian Era (1837-1901) produced a tremendous outpouring of beautifully designed objects for domestic use - from finely crafted, handmade decorative art pieces to humble, machine-made household work tools. We treasure them all today as Victoriana: objects handed down from generation to generation, collected for their nostalgic, aesthetic, and investment value,… See more details below

Overview

The Victorian Era (1837-1901) produced a tremendous outpouring of beautifully designed objects for domestic use - from finely crafted, handmade decorative art pieces to humble, machine-made household work tools. We treasure them all today as Victoriana: objects handed down from generation to generation, collected for their nostalgic, aesthetic, and investment value, displayed in museums and historic house restorations, and copied by commerical manufacturers of authentic reproductions. Victorian Treasures is a houseful of these beloved objects, a sumptuous photo album organized into six chapters, each devoted to a separate room in a typical Victorian house: the parlor, library, dining room, kitchen, bedroom, and nursery. The book presents a selection of 200 superb examples of both English and American Victoriana, from the familiar, such as highly collectible painted biscuit tins and silver matchsafes, to the esoteric and arcane, such as the mysterious hair receiver and the blessed birthing scissors. The extended captions that accompany the photos provide curious and entertaining information about the life of the Victorian home: how (and where) one bathed; what the children were allowed to eat; who sat where at the dinner table; and what really went on in the library. Like the objects it collects, Victorian Treasures is both beautiful and useful. An informal cultural history, it is an indispensable guide and a charming companion for all lovers of Victoriana - collectors, dealers, flea market shoppers and the proud owners of old family heirlooms.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal - Library Journal
As a guide for collectors, this book is unusual in its emphasis on the social and domestic milieu in which the antiques were used. It is arranged as a room-by-room tour through a fictional, urban, middle- or upper-middle-class household of the Victorian era, with pictures and discussions of a representative selection of objects. These museum-quality antiques are both beautifully photographed and well documented, with a list of sources included at the end of the book. The text suffers somewhat from historical generalization, and the reader must bear in mind that Victorian in this case refers to only one social class of that era. However, this book will find a ready audience among fans of Victoriana. Recommended for public libraries.-- Constance Ashmore Fairchild, Univ. of Illinois Lib., Urbana-Champaign
Barbara Jacobs
Step into Wallace's parlor to learn about Victoriana in a very readable yet well-researched manner. Though her reasoning for contemporary interest in this particular period might be a bit off-base ("We want plush. We want ruffles. We want fringe, rosebuds, and ornately carved edges."), her facts and photographs are intriguing, perhaps even compelling enough to prompt a nascent collector into stockpiling. Divided by room, each of the seven sections first discusses general use and habits (the front hall, for example, as the repository for canes and calling cards), then focuses on objects belonging to that space. Where else could readers discover the proper use of the chatelaine, the waistband-hooked series of housekeeping tools? Or that postage stamps were pioneered by Great Britain in 1840? A technique to teach history painlessly or to absorb a piece of the past.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780810939295
Publisher:
Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
Publication date:
09/01/1993
Pages:
176
Product dimensions:
8.66(w) x 9.84(h) x (d)

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