Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Displaying Photographs - 1894

Twice Told Tuesday features a photography related article reprinted from
my collection of old photography books, magazines, and newspapers.

Ever wonder how our ancestors displayed their photographs, other than in frames or albums? Today in Twice Told Tuesday we look at how photographs decorated the homes of old.

Demorest's Family Magazine
Home Art and Home Comfort
September 1894
December 1894

Very pretty photograph racks can be made of common palm-leaf fans. They should be soaked in water, first, to prevent splitting, and cut in points as seen.

A bottle of gold or metal paint goes a great ways in ornamenting the fans. Some are gilded all over the front surface, others have dashes of gold on the points, or just a narrow band around the serrated edge, and they can also be finished with enamel paint in any desired color. In bedrooms it is pretty yo have them match the prevailing color; and they are dainty in ivory and gold.

When the gilding or painting - or both - is perfectly dry, wind the fans with "baby" ribbon, chenille, or fine silk cord, as seen in the illustrations, bringing the ribbon between all th points; finish by winding the handle -which may be gilded - and tying a bow of ribbon of corresponding color on it. The photographs are held securely in place by the ribbons or cord. It is best not to over crowd them, but leave a bit of the fan as a frame around them.

Arrange the photographs as fancy dictates, slitting the palm-leaf to insert their corners, and lapping them a good deal. When all are arranged, take a brush and bottle of gold paint and give dashes of gilding here and there around the edge. Tie a generous bow of bright ribbon on the stem, and tack up on the wall. Decide on the position of the palm - which way it is to be turned - before putting in the photographs.

Photographic Gifts

Photograph-holder, covered plainly on the back with rich brocaded silk, and on the front with the same fabric, laid in deep folds to form pockets. The edges are neatly overhanded together.

A photograph holder covered with gold brocaded satin, or with Japanese leather.

Stand for newspapers or large photographs and engravings; to be made of covenient wood, eith carved or decorated with pyrography . . .

The "ace" photograph-case, made either of satin, velvet, or of chamois-skin. The back is perfectly plain, and the openings for the photographs are cut in the form of aces. If satin or velvet be used, the openings may be buttonholded or couched with gold thread.


Unknown, "Home Art And Home Comfort." Demorest's Family Magazine, September 1894, 674-676.

Unknown, "Home Art And Home Comfort." Demorest's Family Magazine, December 1894, 108-109.


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