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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Victorian Library

Typically, the library was a man's domain.  Here was kept a gentleman's books and important papers and to here a gentleman could retire to be alone or invite other gentleman to talk after dinner.  Viewed as a serious room, the library was typically decorated in dark colors, usually a dark green, and well lit.  A fireplace was a must, in order to keep warm during the cooler months.

One item of importance was the writing table, which one would use to compose important documents and correspondences.  The one to the left has casters which provided portability.  In the drawers one could store important documents and lock them up for privacy.  In The Trumpet Major, Squire Derriman kept his important documents in a tin box and was in constant fear of its being discovered.

One item that was important in the composition of letters was an ink well, such as the one above with a greyhound sculpture.  Dogs were popular as pet during the Victorian era, with Queen Victoria herself owning a King Charles spaniel.  This particular ink well is made of bronze and has two ink wells of glass. 

A man of business could retire to the library to meditate and collect his thoughts.  There, he could relax in an armchair like the one to the right.  This mahogany chair upholstered in leather, made in England around 1860, also has casters for easy portability. 

Such a chair was excellent for a relaxing smoke after a day of transactions and would excellently complemented by an ottoman, of a deep burgundy  leather.  Such an ottoman opens at the top which allows more storage for important documents. 

A large library had to have steps in order to access any out-of-reach books.  These particular steps have casters and open at the top to store the steps, which allows it to be stored away easily.

The pictures are from 1stdibs, a website that sells antique items in many different styles.

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