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On your way into the Master Bedroom, be sure to pause to check out the sweet hook, with a crown, some sort of Siamese birds and a snake for the hook:
The Globe Wernicke company started as two separate companies. Wernicke was a Minnesota-based company that made high end office furniture. They were most famous for their sectional bookcases, but this piece is different – it’s similar to a roll-top desk, in that you could slide the entire front down to hide all the drawers and lock them:
And then in each drawer, you could organize your correspondence:
Chester died in November of 1916, so one can imagine that this was an attempt to start to put things in order after his death.
After he died, Clara wore black for years. Here’s an example of a few of her outfits hanging int he closet:
Inside a different closet door was a place to store fancy hats. I tried to find something like this available today, and there’s really nothing quite like it any more (at least, nothing that I could find). Also, check out those fur-lined boots! We’ll actually see another – even smaller – pair a bit later in the tour.
Here was how the room looked when it was fairly new:
Just under the picture rail by the ceiling, you can see a decorative stenciled border of pomegranate, leaves and flowers. In the 1950s, it was covered over:
These Quezal lights are some of my favorites in the house:
It’s possible that I’ve said that once before, but this time I mean it. Here they are with light shining through – it’s amazing how they change color!
Here’s a piece of artwork called “Untitled.” It’s fine, but when you look to see the signature, you find a familiar name!
However, Thomas Congdon was apparently no relation to the family. Of course, would you buy a piece of artwork by someone who shared your name??
This is a little jewelry box, but unlike yours or mine, this one is silver-plated. Sometimes you’ll see silver tarnish, which turns it a grey-black color. Other times, silver will tarnish in a process called ‘toning,’ which creates a colorful patina, like has happened on this piece, called “Le jeu du chat et de la souirs,” (which translates to ‘The game of cat and mouse’) by D’Aprés Ricci:
This is a custom-made sculpture of Clara, commissioned by her children as a gift to her in 1931:
In one of the desks we found a couple of reading aids. On the left is a handheld magnifying glass (with pocket clip!), and on the right are spectacles:
On their travels, the Congdons purchased and brought back many interesting chests, including this one:
The next two photos are from a privacy screen (which you can see in the historic photo of this room). Here’s the backside:
And here’s a photo of the detail from the front side (another bird, of course):
Along the ceiling, you will see a beautiful tulip-shaped plaster molding:
Months after we shot the photos in the Master Bedroom, we found this rubber form that was used for shaping this very molding!
We’re going to take a small break from making our way around the room. Inside one of the drawers, we found all sorts of interesting knickknackery. For example, this box made of several different types of wood, with a number of different shapes, both geometric and organic. This looks to me like a practice piece that an up-and-coming carpenter would complete to demonstrate mastery of his skills:
This is a self-published book of poems by Emma Bell Miles, an Appalachian poet:
And what good timing, that the Master Bedroom was published on Halloween: in one of the books we found was this strange little book, “Doings of the Bodley Family.” It was a collection of allegories in the form of short stories, including ‘Nathan’s Pig,’ with Martin and Nathan and the “Which” chasing them through the field, and the Jack-o’-lantern:
This was fun – it was a pretty little scrap of pieces of paper that had been glued together into a card. Inside the card was the note “Don’t know where this came from. (unclear) as a sample of perhaps 1900:
This was the frontispiece of a book that extolled the virtues of hunting:
A January, 1923 copy of Nature Magazine:
Inside I found an article that could have been published today. “…the child, the citizen of tomorrow, must have a thorough foundation in Natural Science – a ground work starting with the kindergarten… This is the great work which Nature Magazine can aim to accomplish and at once.”
Get those kids outside!
This is the final page of that Nature Magazine. It caught my eye, especially knowing that the Congdons owned a large apple orchard in Yakima, Washington, and they would have been quite familiar with the mighty Sitka Spruce:
This sweet little booklet has a hand-crocheted cover. The initials at the bottom appear to be CGC. So certainly not Clara Hesperia Bannister Congdon or Chester Adgate Congdon. Another mystery…
There are so many unique pieces at Glensheen that a complete accounting would be so long as to be overly-exhasutive (not to mention exhausting to catalog!). But these wooden trays are pretty cool:
Here’s a nice little watercolor: “Merry Xmas. To Grandmother. From Schermerhorn”
We found this painting carefully wrapped at the back of a dresser:
The text, superimposed here, is actually on the back of the painting, and reads: “Cousin Mary Torrey painted this in N.Y. about 1900. Lizzie sent it to me.”
We also found a copy of the Rome [the city in upstate New York, USA] Daily Sentinel from September 15, 1944. I don’t know about you, but I really like looking through old newspapers. I enjoy reading the news stories, and the advertisements can be pretty fun. Here’s the whole front page:
And then here are the main headlines. You can see that World War II was in full swing:
I have several Finnish friends, and seeing headlines like this makes me think of them:
I think old comics are interesting, because they reflect what was happening in the country at the time.
And here you can see if a 1944 crossword is any easier or harder than one from today’s paper:
We found this single piece of silk with an image of a Japanese woman playing her shamisen:
Here’s a sample piece of tile from Hawes & Dodd:
I’m not sure on this one. I can make some guesses, but I don’t know for sure what this does. Anyone out there know?
Here are a couple of old curling irons. Those open plugs are pretty interesting, compared to how careful we are today:
We found this tiny klompen that could fit on the end of your pinkie finger:
I don’t know. Seeing the teeth marks on the yellow pencil was just another reminder of how the Congdons were just people, like the rest of us. Foibles and all. The Venus American Pencil Company was a pretty big deal around 1905. They were involved in a number of mergers and acquisitions over the years, and today, the company is known as Faber-Castell.
Apparently, Clara was a little compulsive about keeping track of everything. These notes are an inventory of various fabric napkins:
This is a small box of even smaller spools of silk thread:
This picture is of Clara when she was young. I include it just so you can see what her hair looked like. The real point of this photo is to check out the hat pins that we found:
Here’s a closer up view of a couple. The blue, silver and white hat pin is from Yale:
Okay, let’s get out of the Congdon’s equivalent of ‘the junk drawer.’ At least for now.
If you recall from the beginning, there was a stenciled border of pomegranate, leaves and flowers up near the ceiling. This fireplace, with its lustre tiles, is the only place in the room you can still see that pattern today:
Inside the doors on either side of the fireplace were a few interesting items, including this apparently jolly archer:
This is a bottle stopper in the shape of clasped hands:
More birds, yes, but the degree of artistry in this cup and saucer set is just gorgeous:
This striking bud vase was made by the Tiffany company:
And we’ll end the tour of the Master Bedroom with a peek inside Chester’s top hat:
Do your hats have a gold-embossed monogram? Mine either.
Next room: Master Bedroom Dressing Room (coming soon!)
Previous room: Marjorie’s Room