VICTORIAN DUBLIN HOW VICTORIAN FAMILIES LIVED.
Once securely set up in their new homes, the Victorians believed in buying good quality furniture which would last their lifetime and most likely that of their children as well. Young housewives were urged to buy furniture by degrees and with great care and thought. Findlater's Ladies Housekeeping Book encouraged them to avoid 'suites of cheap furniture', and to attend auctions in 'respectable houses' where they could 'pick up first-class pieces at moderate prices'.
With careful consideration they would spend as much as they could afford on carpets-Wilton or Axminster would, if cared for properly last a lifetime. Strip carpet was used on the stairs, held in place with stair rods made from polished wood or brass. This meant it could be adjusted up or down a few inches to spread wear and tear. Large rugs on parquet flooring were popular, as they could be easily lifted when moving house. The wooden surround was stained and polished.
An important piece of furniture in most homes was the piano; it was essential for musical evenings. Birds of paradise, stuffed and mounted under a glass dome, or shell ornaments also under glass domes, were very popular.
A neo-Celtic style of art, reviving forms and motifs from early Irish art, began to emerge about the 1840's. This was seen initially in metalwork and later in woodwork. Articles of furniture, including chairs, settles and cabinets, were carved or painted with interlaced patterns. Neo-Celticism was given a new boost and was responsible for the start of some very elegant furniture into the Dublin Victorian home.
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