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SURROUNDED BY HISTORY
Jane and David Wright live enveloped in history—in the garrison-style home they built, on land that had been Tennessee’s frontier, in rooms surrounded by 18th-Century-style furnishings—all with deep connections to family and long-time friends.
LINE AND BERRY FURNITURE
In the early 1700s, Welsh cabinetmakers decorated boxes, chests, chairs, and tables with compass-drawn figures, which found favor with the conservative Quaker gentry who purchased the finely inlaid pieces. When rare pieces emerge from private collections today, they demand high prices.
THE TRUTH ABOUT BOWLING IN AMERICA
Bowling, with balls and pins (first 9, then 10), has a long and confusing history, but our early English ancestors likely played the game soon after they arrived in America. It eventually moved from outdoor lawns to indoor alleys with the help of modern technology.
NEW HAMPSHIRE'S GARRISON HOUSE
Early New Englanders living on the frontier sometimes built garrison homes, which featured solid log walls, small windows, and rifle ports to defend against potential attack. A 1709 example in Exeter exemplifies the architecture as well as the history of the prominent family who built it.
MORE THAN SAMPLERS: EARLY EMBROIDERY
For millennia, men (and women) have added colorful designs to clothing and other textiles with needle and thread. Early Americans imported embroidered finery from Europe until young women here learned the needlework skills.
Victoria Rumble Brady
EMBROIDER WITH RIBBON
A self-taught artisan, selected for the Directory of Traditional American Crafts, discovered how to add ribbon to her embroidery projects. She shares a simple yet sophisticated floral wreath project with us.
WHAT IS PATINA?
Three antiques experts share their views on the concept of patina—original finish and the signs of age and use—as well as the value it adds to antique objects. They show that it is sometimes not wise to clean and restore your vintage treasures.
In addition to the beauty and fragrance they add to our homes, flowers can also bring a bit of sweetness or tang to a favorite salad or dessert. An expert in 18th-Century cuisine looks at some of the most edible blossoms and how to bring them to the table.
ANIMAL MAGNETISM, IMAGINATION, AND THE ARMONICA
Franz Mesmer introduced the world to the science of animal magnetism, claiming he could cure any ailment with this mysterious power. When he sought the endorsement of Benjamin Franklin, claiming his magnetism was another form of Franklin’s electricity, Franklin instead helped disprove Mesmer’s claims.
John Garrott, a friend of Tennessee homeowners David and Jane Wright, built this mid-1800s-style food safe to the couple’s specifications for a shallow area in the breakfast nook. Photograph courtesy of David Wright.