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Victorian Interior Decoration: American Interiors : 1830-1900 Paperback – November 1, 1992


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 257 pages
  • Publisher: Henry Holt & Co (P) (November 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0805023127
  • ISBN-13: 978-0805023121
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 8.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #180,975 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

As an historical textbook, this work achieves what it sets out to accomplish: compile a mass of detailed information based on primary sources. But as a how-to guide, it is lacking. Information for homeowners is contained in a few sidebars, such as "Wallpaper Selection Today," and presented in vague terms: "Some companies do manufacture papers that reproduce designs used during the 19th century." The authors tell us how the Victorians chose to design their homes and the reasons for their various selections, but in such dry prose that it's difficult to imagine they are discussing an era known for its exciting diversity and burgeoning opulence. And despite abundant quotes from Godey's Lady's Book and other charming sources, this tome is boring. Victorian scholars may appreciate the book, but readers seeking to restore their homes should look elsewhere for practical advice. Winkler is a director of the National Preservation Institute and Moss is executive director of a research library specializing in19th century history. Illustrations.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

70 of 70 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 5, 2000
Format: Paperback
Two years ago, we moved into a house built in 1875, and bought up an armload of Victoriana books to tell us what to do with it. Most of them were "decorator porn" -- lots of gorgeous pictures (many photographing the same places) that inspire a person to go antique hunting or to refinish Aunt Martha's rocker. This book is different! It divides 70 years into 4 periods, and for each, tells you plenty about what went on the walls, on the floors,on the windows, on the ceilings. It tells how the composition of paint (and its effects) evolved over the century, recommends books for sources of historic wallpapers, and tells how to recapture Victorian room colors amidst modern lighting. Generous notes on bygone lifestyles, too, with sprinkled quotes from Charles Eastlake, Godey's Lady's Book, and other 19th century gurus of taste. If you want something to help you capture the look (or just understand it) of another century, here it is. More encyclopedic than (the also useful, but much shorter) "Creating Authentic Victorian Rooms." The downside? Very low porn quotient: No glossy paper and few colored pictures (even for contemporary photographs)--but numerous 19th-century prints and diagrams.
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23 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Patrick M. McCauley on November 27, 2000
Format: Paperback
I voluteer at an 1844 farm in Ann Arbor, MI. I have been researching paint colors and wallpaper for a sitting room and this book was the best source I have found. There is good descriptions of the tastes and styles of each time period as well as some pictures that really show what they are talking about. More pictures would have been helpful, but it's good book for those looking to do true historic restoration. My one problem with the book is the lack of paint colors. It will say, "they used to paint the rooms blue-green, grey or yellow" but the book doesn't show what these colors looked like or even what the color range to begin in. That is my only criticism. If you are looking to be completely accurate with your restoration more work and research would be required, but this book is the best place to start.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Abigail Padgett on June 15, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Researching a mystery novel with a Victorian subplot, I pillaged the library for reference books. This one (I've just ordered my own copy) stands far above the rest. Not only are the details accessible, but the book references design mavens and trendsetters of that time so you can follow those research threads as well. Only problem is the maddening absence of color in sections addressing color. The black and white "color wheel" on pg.130 has got to be a first. And what on earth is "citron?" Beyond that, however, this is a well-organized goldmine of thoroughgoing detail about Victorian decorating bound to delight those interested in authenticity.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Bird That Flew on March 24, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love this book because it's different from most other Victorian interior decoration books. It was just the thing for me when I began researching my 1857 Victorian, as it seems that almost every other book about Victorian interiors focus on later Victorian periods and/or just Queen Annes. If you're looking for pretty pictures of other peoples' homes, this isn't the book for you. If you want solid historical information about what the interiors of Victorian homes looked like and why, then you'll want to read this book. It tells you what was used, where, when, how it was installed, what it was made out of, what color it was, quite literally everything. There is also information on how to obtain these materials and which materials to substitute should the originals no longer be available. There are black and white photographs and period sketches and diagrams to accompany the text. Everything you ever needed to know about the interiors of Victorian homes can be found in this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By M. Gilham on December 16, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book has been extremely informative for me as I get ready to renovate and furnish a home built in 1861. It shows the changes in style for each decade or so, and has lots of drawings and photos of furniture and other decor. I highly recommend this book for anyone looking to authentically reproduce any part of the era discussed.
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By Heather Cox on April 7, 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Book came in on time and is a great read! love it and would recommend this book to anyone who loves Victorian period style
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