History of the Nickerson Mansion: 1877

A. Fiedler and L. W. Murray, Artistic Furnishing and House Decoration, (C. H. Blakely & Co., printers, 1877)

Presented by A. Fiedler & Co.: Designers and Manufacturers of Artistic Furniture, Upholstered Goods, Hardwood Fittings, Draperies and Interior Decoration

What styles, then are to be advocated? It will not be a difficult matter to select from the different styles of architecture as represented in furniture (in their respective periods), those which conform to our climate, habits, and mode of life; such as the Gothic, Renaissance, and mainly Queen Anne. By this we do not mean the copying of existing examples, but rather, as the above styles offer the best motifs for construction and decoration, and, as applied to furniture, have not yet reached their fullest development, they give to a student of art a ground opportunity to display his originality, and enable him to produce like objects without repeating himself.

We strongly advocate the use of different styles in different rooms, to avoid the monotonous effect invariably produced by the fanatic apostles of the so-called Eastlake or Modern Gothic. For the same reasons it will be necessary for articles of luxury, as Easels. Hanging Shelves, Cabinets, etc., to use motifs from the Mooresque, Byzantine, Japanese, etc., though diametrically opposed to the prevailing style of the room.

The same rule should be followed in the selection of carpets, coverings etc., or in the decoration of ceilings, and walls, in which harmonious contrasts are preferred to harmonious analogies, known as “matching.” The mistakes committed by unskilled hands in the former are more easily overcome than the stupid blunders made in the latter.

It would tire the reader to give examples, but we venture to say that a room with a carpet of gorgeous coloring, with coverings and wallpaper to match, and the ceiling a true reflection of the floor, is far from producing an artistic effect.

To avoid this, and other extravagance in the other direction, we deem it advantageous to our patrons that we assist in the selection of fabrics, and control the internal fittings and decorations of the entire house or room, as the case may be, as we believe a really good effect can only be secured by such individual control. We do not advocate this for our own profit, but really in the interest of art, as we have frequently seen the effect of carefully designed furniture and draperies, destroyed by inharmonious wall-papers and glaring decorations.

We are aware this will be opposed by a certain class of artisans, whose petty jealousies and self-conceit blind them to the fact that their specific trade is in and of itself but an integral part, and not a comprehensive whole.

Those contemplating re-furnishing would do well to observe our suggestions in regards to the complete study of rooms before commencing any part of it.

It may not be out of place here to mention that the usual custom of furniture houses to alone manufacture furniture (thus compelling their patrons to run hither and thither for their requirements,) does not apply to us. Our connections are such that we are enabled not alone to manufacture interior wood-work and furniture, but to fill all other necessary requirements for the furnishing and decorating of the rooms, such as furnishing fabrics, and the making of draperies, sketching and executing ceiling and wall decorations, etc., etc. The nature of our business forbids our keeping a stock of good textile goods, but our business relations with the best houses here and at the East, are such that we are supplied with samples of their best and newest manufacture and latest importations.

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