June 22, 2016

'They found nobody in the library yet,...

... though there was a tea-table set beside the fire. It was a room not much used by the family, except on show-days, entirely lined with bookshelves, above with were displayed some of the bronzes brought back by 'Sensibility' Hornbeam from Italy. There was an oriel window filled with coats of arms in bright crude Victorian glass, now illuminated by the setting sun and a bust of the first baron, looking sulky and cold in nothing but a toga. There were also a great many arm-chairs and sofas, painstakingly covered with Berlin woolwork in the thirties by Colonel 'Waterloo' Hornbeam's second wife, an industrious needlewoman; these and the calf-bound histories and sermons all smelled somewhat musty. ...
      Her eyes travelled around the room. 'What a lot of books,' she sighed. 'Fancy having to read them!' and when he said hastily, 'They all look very dull,' demanded 'Can I go up the ladder?' Quite taken aback, he murmured, 'I expect so; what do you want? To get something down from the top shelves?' 'But she only replied, 'I like going up ladders; don't you?'
from The Half-Crown House, by Helen Ashton

Books and Berlin work. I've done pillows and framed some as pictures, and may even put together a small carpet, but stitching a chair (if unmusty) would be a dream. And if there were a library ladder, too, I would be in heaven.

{images from Decorative Victorian Needlework, by Elizabeth Bradley}

1 comment:

JoAnn said...

Imagine being talented enough to stitch a chair! Hope you're enjoying the book... it sounds lovely.