By Margaret Ponsonby
Such a lot houses some time past weren't elite, prosperous interiors whole with haute couture furniture, designed through recognized architects and architects, as many family histories usually appear to have assumed. As this publication makes transparent, there have been in truth an important number of apartment interiors in England through the interval 1750-1850, reflecting the site, prestige and gender of specific homeowners, in addition to their altering attitudes, tastes and aspirations. by way of concentrating on non-metropolitan houses, which represented the vast majority of families in England, this learn highlights the necessity for historians to seem past winning attitudes that regularly decrease interiors to ordinary descriptions in line with excessive models of the ornamental arts. as an alternative it indicates how quite a few social and cultural affects affected the style within which houses have been supplied and adorned. concerns comparable to the provision of products, gender, local flavor, source of revenue, the second-hand industry, altering notions of privateness and loved ones hierarchies and print tradition, may well all have an important influence on household furnishing. The examine ends with a dialogue of the way household interiors of historical houses were offered and displayed nowa days, highlighting how competing notions of the prior can cloud in addition to remove darkness from the difficulty. Combining cultural historical past and qualitative research of proof, this publication offers a brand new method of taking a look at 'ordinary' and 'provincial' houses that enriches our realizing of English household lifetime of the overdue eighteenth and early 19th centuries.
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Extra info for Stories from Home: English Domestic Interiors 1750-1850 (The History of Retailing and Consumption)
One such town was Wolverhampton. 60 The better-quality houses and their residents were situated out of the centre. What had formerly been the fashionable residential areas became commercial premises. A few streets such as Snow Hill, St John’s and Worcester Street attracted the better-quality shops, including a number of cabinetmakers, while the lower kind of retailers congregated on the eastern side of the town. 62 But, unlike Shrewsbury, where a number of firms stayed in business for 20 or more years, there was a bigger turnover in Wolverhampton.
It was here in particular that the middle class emerged as dominant. And here the break with the gentry was most keenly apparent. Even towns that had once been dominated by the gentry were becoming dominated by the middle class. 43 The middle-class virtues of thrift, economy, independence and opposition to privilege thrived in the growing industrial towns where the gentry had little influence. For the middle class even more than the middling sort, the home and its furnishings were important not only for material comfort but to express social, cultural, emotional and religious attitudes.
Pat Kirkham et al. suggest that during the nineteenth century the trade in London 44 Stories from Home 1:6 The front cover of Eld and Chamberlain’s catalogue for their furnishing drapery shop in Birmingham in 1860 shows the grand new building that replaced their more humble premises on the same site in the 1850s. 91 It thus became harder for small independent cabinetmakers producing bespoke goods to compete, whether they were in London or the provinces. By the later-nineteenth century the national market for producing furniture became largely dominated by London goods and methods.
Stories from Home: English Domestic Interiors 1750-1850 (The History of Retailing and Consumption) by Margaret Ponsonby