The Englishwoman In America By Isabella Lucy Bird

 -  Above this staircase was a lofty
dome, decorated with paintings in fresco of eastern scenes. There were
niches in the - Page 370
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Above This Staircase Was A Lofty Dome, Decorated With Paintings In Fresco Of Eastern Scenes.

There were niches in the walls, some containing Italian statuary, and others small jets of water pouring over artificial moss,

There were six or eight magnificent reception-rooms, furnished in various styles - the Mediaeval, the Elizabethan, the Italian, the Persian, the modern English, &c. There were fountains of fairy workmanship, pictures from the old masters, statues from Italy, "chefs-d'oeuvre" of art; porcelain from China and Sèvres; damasks, cloth of gold, and bijoux from the East; Gobelin tapestry, tables of malachite and agate, and "knick- knacks" of every description. In the Mediaeval and Elizabethan apartments, it did not appear to me that any anachronisms had been committed with respect to the furniture and decorations. The light was subdued by passing through windows of rich stained glass. I saw one table the value of which might be about 2000 guineas. The ground was black marble, with a wreath of flowers inlaid with very costly gems upon it. There were flowers or bunches of fruit, of turquoise, carbuncles, rubies, topazes, and emeralds, while the leaves were of malachite, cornelian, or agate. The effect produced by this lavish employment of wealth was not very good. The bedrooms were scarcely less magnificently furnished than the reception- rooms; with chairs formed of stag-horns, tables inlaid with agates, and hangings of Damascus cashmere, richly embossed with gold. There was nothing gaudy, profuse, or prominent in the decorations or furniture; everything had evidently been selected and arranged by a person of very refined taste.

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