Ornamented and Ornamental Windows

The window treatment for the restored Central Parlor was an especially difficult challenge. The window is in a corner of the room, a most odd location. In the adjacent wall is a door with a cornice that over hangs the window frame. In the mid-19th century window treatments for the “best rooms” were a layered affair with a minimum of four layers. First you have a gilded plasterwork cornice of plaster decorations on wood which were usually made by the same companies that made mirror frames. These gilded cornices are very rare today. Hung on the inside of the cornice was the lambrequin, either flat or with swags. Behind the lambrequin, were the drapes, hung from a rod, descending to the floor. Behind the drapes were the lace sheers, or glass curtains as they were known in the mid-19th century. Sometimes there was even a fifth layer – a pulled window shade that would be decorated with a design. (Remember the Victorian motto, “no surface left undecorated.”)