Social New York under the Georges, 1714-1776: Houses, Streets, and Country Homes, with Chapters on Fashions, Furniture, China, Plate, and Manners

By Esther Singleton | Go to book overview

II
LIVING-ROOMS AND THEIR CONTENTS

THE ordinary modest house of the period was of two stories with a basement. On the first floor were two rooms, used for the parlour and dining-room, occasionally divided by glass doors. Up-stairs were three bedrooms, the extra one, of course, being a small one over the hall or entry. In the basement were the cellar-kitchen and the wine-cellar. The kitchen was usually in an additional back building of two stories, the upper one reserved for the negro slaves. Frequently the house had a wing fitted up as an office.

A home of this type was occupied by Abraham Lodge who had built up quite a fortune in his twenty years' practice as a lawyer. The house was so correctly furnished that it may be taken as an example of the prosperous New York home of 1750. It was a two-story brick house with basement. The hall contained four high-backed Windsor chairs and two lanterns. From it you entered the parlour, completely furnished in mahogany. Here were eight mahogany chairs with cabriole legs and claw-and-ball feet, the seats of crimson silk damask. There was a large mahogany scrutoire and bookcase with glass-doors; a small mahogany dining-table; a round mahogany tea-table; and a mahogany card-table. A large pier

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