The original mirror from which our illustration is drawn hangs in the same hall in which stand the settle and clock already shown in these columns. The hall is nearly square, being 10×12 ft. in dimensions, and opening by a sliding-door to a vestibule 6×6 ft. square. This mirror is hung across a corner above the oval rustic table illustrated in the October number. This side of the hall is otherwise occupied by a large wide sliding-door hung on visible wheels and giving ingress to the front parlor of the house. Opposite stands the high-backed settle against the outer wall portion of the stair-case, on the wide lowest square platform or landing of which stands the tall ancient-looking clock. These facts are noted to show how a hall of these dimensions may be furnished without any appearance of crowding, and no interference with its proper uses as an entrance and reception hall. A chair stands opposite the settle, so that three persons may be conveniently seated, instead of immediately ushered into the parlor, a very good arrangement when persons are not known to the maid as personal acquaintances or friends of the family. In this hall there are five pieces of furniture beside the mirror, lending it a home-like appearance which gives a sense of welcome to friend and stranger. Plenty of light and flowers add to this impression through all the floral seasons.
To return to the mirror, this piece of furnishing is always a pleasant feature in a hall if it is well hung, and is pleasing in itself. This particular mirror is more than one hundred years old. The frame is gilded in old style and shows a variety of high lights, shades and lustrous reflections. The distinguishing feature of this mirror is the upper panel of plain glass, on the under side of which is painted a conventional landscape in gold, sepia and gray.
An amateur could reproduce this quaintly-pictured landscape in the same combinations, the gold, gray and sepia being more refined than any attempt in colors. The small side columns could be turned at a moulding and turning mill, and will be handsomer in fluted style. The beadings could be imitated in Lincrusta-Walton, prettily and substantially. When completed the whole frame should be gone over with a thin coating of shellac varnish to prepare it either for gilding or any other treatment except staining, for the shellac fills the pores and gives a ground for gold or enamel paint. A pleasing treatment would be to enamel in old ivory effect, first painting in dead white enamel, that is, an ivory white. When thoroughly dry go over the whole surface with a coat of thinned, burnt-sienna oil paint, and before it has time to dry wipe off the fresh paint from all the elevated or relief portions of the work, allowing the burnt-sienna to remain in the depressions. This treatment gives the old-ivory effect so much admired. Gilding by means of the modern preparations is easily done. It is claimed that the Florentine bronzes sold in little stone bottles are very durable and brilliant, and repay their first cost. By going over the whole frame with Florentine silver bronze, allowing it to dry completely, and then pursuing the course described for antique ivory, one will get an oxidized silver frame.
A few pots of plants either of pleasing foliage or brilliant blossoms will repay any housewife for the small care they need in November, and the four following months. A growing plant that is kept in good order is always a pleasing decoration for the table. For special occasions it may be placed in a pretty jardiniere and stood on the dinner or luncheon table.
Very pretty jardinieres may be purchased now-a-days for small sums; the prettiest colors in Leeds ware are the rich deep reds, and full rich yellows. There comes also a pretty green blue in this ware that sets off a table pleasantly. If even this jardiniere would cost too much a small wicker or splint basket of good weave can be prettily gilded and a pot of flowers placed in it, and the effect will be picturesque and dainty.
Plaited fringes are very decorative for trimming cushions, curtains, table-cloths, and are readily made in most instances from the stuff edge to be decorated. The material must be ravelled to somewhat more than the length of the finished fringe. For each plait strand take ten or twelve or more threads according to the material; make four strands. Cross the left one of the two middle strands over the right one of the two, then each outer left strand laid under, each outer left right strand over and the next middle strand, and the two outer strands then crossed in the middle. After every knot is thus formed, the threads are tied off.
Polished glass-ware sets off a tea-table very tastefully, and it is not uncommon now to see many pieces in glass that formerly were only used in porcelain, or some similar ware. Sets of polished glass-ware of very good design, consisting of sixty-four pieces, were recently being sold in New York for $5.00.
Linen sheets are once more in favor, but they are not desirable for use in cold weather; they may be purchased ready made and hem-stitched, size 2 1/2 x 2 3/4 yards, for about $2.85, at special sales.
Corner tables are a pleasant feature of furnishing, and they are well calculated to hold articles that are delicate and easily broken. A very good corner table can be made with three triangular pieces of smooth, clear pine joined by three supports or legs, the whole to be covered with plush, and the edges of the shelves with fringe to match.
Frances E. Fryatt (1892, November). An old-fashioned mirror and chair. The Ladies World, XIII(11), 16. Retrieved from http://victoriantimes.us/decorating/an-old-fashioned-mirror