Monday, March 25, 2013

Through Their Eyes

Whenever I look at Moran Place it's always through the eyes of the modern world and I wonder, what did it look like through their eyes?  Candle light and oil lamps reflecting the crystal and  mirrors.  In the winter the glow from the fireplaces was more than a glow it was the only source of heat.  Open windows in the spring and summer to let in the breeze.  How did they keep the lawn mowed?  I think of the servants carrying water up and down those narrow back stairs to fill a bath tub.  A line from Downton Abbey comes to mind when I think of Moran Place.  Lady Mary is speaking to fiance Richard in regards to how they would furnish a new home, she says "Your lot buys it, our lot inherits it."  The Moran's certainly left a rich legacy.

This beautiful cut glass trinket box, at least that's what I think it is, was always in the upstairs front room and each time I visited that was where Mrs. Moran allowed me to stay.  To be sure, it's seen better days.  Most of the silver has worn off and there is a nasty crack in the lid but it's no less a treasure to us.  I photographed it using a dark cloth backdrop, lights off with just the light from a flashlight.  I was hoping to get the reflections that would do it justice. It really brought out the floral pattern in the lid.  It's the same pattern of many other pieces in Moran Place.  We believe it dates to the 1890's.

Back in December 2011 I wrote an entry about John W. Moran's Perfection Student Lamp ca 1880's.  It's still in working order and is all original.  Unlike many of those lamps which people electrified this one still uses oil.  Surprisingly it puts out a very nice glow but I can't imagine trying to do any real work at night with just this lamp!

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