These advertisements for interior decorators date from the 1910's, nascent years of the profession as we know it today.  Some of the names still resonate, others are long forgotten.

Tapestries and Medival ironwork, and faintly ecclesiastical furniture were all popular motif of the era

At the end of the second quarter of the 19th century, Herter Brothers ruled the field.  By 1918, the original partners were dead, it's distinctive style was distinctly out of fashion, and as Herter looms, the firm was attempting to capitalize on the taste of the day.

One easily sees why some have lasted in reputation and others have not.  I leave the reader to form his own opinion

Yet more tapestry, needlepoint chairs, and the rich Georgian atmosphere so beloved by the bankers of the day.  It became almost the official style of the Long Island set of the era, and the Hampton Shops were among the chief purveyors of the goods required for the look.

Mrs. Muchmore, 'Consulting Decorator' of Hollywood and New York.  Too perfect.  One yearns to see examples of her work.  For much more about the wonderfully named Minnie Muchmore after she moved to Hollywood, click HERE

Elsie de Wolfe.  Need I say more?

And last, before there was Eleanor Brown, there was Miss Swift, purveyor of controlled, edited, highly luxe interiors for the elegant and the fashionable.  I'm not social historian enough to know when the four hundred became five hundred but it says so below.  Miss Swift's elegant showroom was an early work by Mott Schmidt (thanks to the ever-surprising Ancient for the head's up)


Blue said...

What a delight! Miss Swift, America's Most Exclusive Home Furnisher, is my favorite. The name and style - straight out of E M Delafield or George Meridith.

The Devoted Classicist said...

And later came BUDGET INTERIORS by Mrs. Henry Parish, 2nd. It does indeed pay to advertise.

The Ancient said...

We're all waiting for you to explain just how the very respectable Alice Sweet, with a Manhattan shop designed by Mott Schmidt, was related to Mrs. (Minnie Sweet) Muchmore, the first resident of the Monkey House in Hollywood's French Village.

Raina Cox said...

That's it. I'm changing my last name to "Muchmore."

The Down East Dilettante said...

Blue---isn't it great?

Devoted---I'd LOVE to get my hands on a copy of that ad!

Ancient, I do believe that from now on, I am going to email you FIRST, before I start a post.

'Raina Muchmore'---although maybe Muchmore Raina, has a real ring to it too...

The Ancient said...

Dilettante --

There's also the curious case of Mrs Davidge -- the twice-married daughter of an Episcopal Bishop, who lived and worked for a time on Washington Square South, and who in 1921 drowned in two inches of water on Staten Island.

(The following year, the hard-drinking poet Edward Arlington Robinson, who had been taken in by Mrs Davidge and her second husband until some obscure incident caused her to send him away, won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry.)

P.S. If someone were to tell me that the bedrooms at a certain Manhattan men's club maintained her decorative schemes into the early 1980s, I wouldn't be at all surprised.

Toby Worthington said...

I'll take Miss Swift.
For no reason other than it being the name of Ruth
Draper's secretary in The Italian Lesson.
Oh, but what about Mrs Muchmore, who Begs to Inform
that she's moved to Hollywood?
The mind reels.

Decor Arts Now said...

These are FABULOUS! I would love to see the work of Mrs.Swift--just the name alone!
BTW, hope you saw your links in Decor Arts Now. A small thank you for your support of my blog.
Lynn from Decor Arts Now

Janet said...

Eeeeeeee. . . the gentleman is going to die over this line up!

Romantic Dinner said...

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mdrnpntofvu said...

I must say, I've become a devoted fan. Your research and interest leave me speechless.

I very much enjoyed the Vanderbilts at Bar Harbor. And if you have never been, Biltmore in the wonderful town of Asheville, North Carolina is a must. It is incredible on many levels including the fact that decendants of George Vanderbilt still own it!! I noted the photo of George sitting to the left of Alva in your article, it's very interesting seeing him in a different context. What an interesting and amazing individual.

The Elsie Cobb Wilson ad really caught my eye as well. Minimalist neo-classical design which looks shockingly current must have appealed to Wilson as well. Good things never die......

P.Gaye Tapp at Little Augury said...

Dilettante. thank you for these. Mrs Swift was obviously very fast- a rare talent in any decorator indeed, while Mrs Muchmore gave it her everything & more! pgt

Anonymous said...

I loved reading about the "French Village" in Los Angeles.

This is a wonderful blog. I really enjoy it.

home before dark said...

It's a good thing Mrs. Muchmore did much more when she did. She would have needed to chang her name to Muchless (and quite possibly had a brain transplant) during the Age of Minimalism.

Karena said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Karena said...

DE Excellant post and research. I love the name of Mrs Muchmore! and HBD's comments.

Where oh where do you find all of this!?

Do come and enter my Artful Offering!

Art by Karena

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