The Late Victorian Library
This room is also called the Eastlake Library. You can see that things have become simpler and less ornate. This is the era of factory made furniture that was often sold from catalogues.
The walnut sofa, chairs and the centrally placed table are in the Eastlake style and were probably bought as a unit. Charles Eastlake, an Englishman, wrote a book on the theory of design and interior decoration and popularized this sturdy, solid, factory-made style of furniture. A similar walnut 5-piece parlor suite is listed in the 1899 Sears Roebuck catalog for $15.45. A hanging kerosene lamp like the one over the table listed for $2.95.
You can see the simpler window curtains, and an Oriental rug was used instead of wall to wall carpeting. The wallpaper is of a design and coloration by another Englishman, William Morris, who is remembered for his Morris chair design. This paper of his is still hand-made in England from the original blocks.
The walnut roll-top desk is an excellent example of machine made furniture. The mechanical swivel desk chair combines iron casting and woodworking, as well as a steel spring device. This all clearly indicates the growing influence of the machine and technology on everyday products. The mechanical lounge platform rocking chair was an item very popular at this time.
There was also a growing interest in things Oriental. The rug, together with the bamboo chair, stool and plant stand (which are from China or the Philippines) all are indicative of this taste.
Once again we see a Franklin coal stove -- this time with doors containing isinglass windows, so the flickering flames could be seen.
Over the mantle is a 1922 Folinsbee portrait of Jane Paxson Parry Maule McIver Little, a relative of the family and benefactor of the Mansion. The portrait by the door is again Richard Randolph Parry at age 45.
The large portrait over the sofa is Oliver Randolph Parry, son of Richard Randolph Parry. Oliver was an architect in Philadelphia and New York. He was the father of Margaret Parry Lang, from whom the house was purchased. The photographs on the desk are also of Margaret Parry as a child standing at the front door and another of her at a later age.
The corner cupboard contains a "Paris" china collection made in France that was Oliver Parry's wedding gift to his wife, Rachel in 1828. On the floor by the desk is an unusual "turtle" spittoon of the era.
Please note the trapdoor in the corner of the library, which according to family lore, was originally intended for "escape from Indians and other foes." The room it led to in the cellar later became a wine cellar and pantry for preserves.
Dr. George Parry used this room as his doctor's office before he died in 1893. In 1958 Oliver (in the large portrait) was laid out in his coffin in front of the Ferry Street window.