Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Playboy Poisoner

Peck Family - Oakhill Cemetery - Grand Rapids, Mi.
True Crime: Michigan: The State's Most Notorious Criminal Cases - In March 1916, the U.S. Army  chased Pancho Villa into Mexico, and the Imperial German Army tangled with British and French forces at Verdun  But it was the murder of millionaire druggist John E. Peck that dominated headlines in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and New York City. The poison plot of Peck's son-in-law, Dr. Arthur Waite, was so shocking that it briefly pushed the Mexican bandit and trench warfare to the margins.

While the armies of Europe battled in the trenches. Dr. Arthur Waite declared war on his in-laws with an arsenal of dangerous germs and poisons. He would have gotten away with it and kept murdering, if it were not for a mysterious telegram sent to Peck's son, Percy, by an armchair detective in New York. Percy Peck was still mourning the unexpected loss of his mother when his father died less than two months later on March 11. 1916.

John E. Peck, the seventy-two-year-old pharmacist and self-made millionaire from Grand Rapids, enjoyed perfect health until he went to visit his daughter and her husband in New York City. But he became severely ill and passed away in his sleep in their Manhattan apartment. Peck's body was on a train headed to Grand Rapids for the funeral, and from there, to Detroit for cremation. While he waited for the arrival of his fathers body. Percy Peck received an alarming telegram from New York: 


Who was K. Adams? Percy Peck had never heard of him or her. Suspicion aroused? Demand autopsy? The language of the telegram hinted that John Peck might have been the victim of foul play. K. Adams's cryptic message led to an investigation that uncovered what the Grand Rapids Herald of March 23, 1916. called "one of the subtlest, and at the same time, most daring poison plots that the criminal history of the country has known." The motive for the plot was John Peck's seven-figure fortune, which he began accumulating when he moved from New York to Grand Rapids in the 1860s.

Grand Rapids, a quiet, subdued city in the western part of Michigan, was just what the doctor ordered for John Peck and his new bride, Hannah. The son of an affluent surgeon and drug manufacturer from upstate New York, Peck served in the Union army during the Civil War. When the war ended. John decided to join his older brother Thomas, who had established a pharmaceutical business in Grand Rapids. The sleepy frontier town must have seemed quiet when compared to the battlefields back east, but it wouldn't stay quiet for long.

When John and Hannah Peek arrived in Grand Rapids, the city was on the verge of a population explosion. Westward expansion created a need for timber, causing lumber camps to appear all over Michigan. Grand Rapids became a lumber trade depot and eventually evolved into the furniture capital of the United States.  Business thrived. John E. Peck amassed a fortune making and selling drugs and various sundries to the citizens of the boomtown.

1905 view at corner of Division Ave.  and Monroe Ave.  The Peck Drug Store is on the right.

Peck's Drugs stood at the corner of Monroe and Division Avenues - one of the busiest intersections in the city. A smart businessman. Peck invested his profits wisely and his nest egg grew. He later became the president of several banks and a major stockholder in local furniture companies. As John Peck's fortune grew, so too did his family with the birth of a son, Percy, and a daughter Clara Louise. 

The Pecks lived in a Victorian mansion on the eastern edge of the city, on top of a hill that sloped gently downward to the Grand River. Percy and Clara Louise grew up with the children of lumber barons, bankers, and other prominent citizens. Like her high-society chums, Clara traveled east for a formal education. She went to a finshing school in Washington, D.C., and then went to Columbia University. Intelligent and gentle in demeanor, Clara dedicated much of her time after college to charity work at a local rehabilitation clinic for the physically disabled.

The Waites lived a short distance from the Pecks, but their lives couldn't have been more distant from the affluent lifestyle enjoyed by the wealthy druggist's family. Warren Waite supported his wife, Jennie, and three children as a fruit and vegetable wholesaler. They lived in a modest, two-story dwelling. One of the Waite boys, Arthur, would become one of the state's most infamous characters.

Arthur Warren Waite was born in 1886. He grew up around Michigan Avenue and attended Grand Rapids Central High School. By the time he graduated in 1905, he had developed a persona that women would find irresistible. Tall and athletic, Waite played baseball and football in school. Off the field, he participated in several school activities, including the high school literary society. But young Arthur Waite also had a sinister side. He later said that as a child, he had tortured and killed animals, and he began at an early age to steal things and defraud people. He pilfered money from his job as a newsboy, and as a high school student, he climbed a fire escape to steal a test off of a teacher's desk. After high school, Waite attended the University of Michigan, where he studied dentistry. He had a crafty intelligence, but he also continued to steal things. When he got behind in classes, he stole another student's work and submitted it as his own. He also swiped $100 from a friend's trunk. Arthur was caught both times, but was allowed to remain in school and managed to graduate. Waite also graduated to larger, more complex deceptions. After college, he traveled to Scotland to attend medical school at the University of Scotland, where he learned dental surgery. Waite doctored his University of Michigan diploma to appear that he had earned an advanced degree, so he could then complete a two-year program in only six months.

From Scotland, Dr. Waite went to Cape Town, South Africa, where he worked for Wellman and Bridgman Dental Company. During his time in Africa, he amassed some money and sent $7,000 to his family in Grand Rapids - some of it stolen. Eventually, Waite was caught, red-handed, stealing from his employer. The company didn't renew his contract, so when World War I began. Waite left Cape Town and returned to Grand Rapids with $25,000 in bank checks, a colorful past, and a new South African accent. While still in South Africa, Waite began corresponding with a young socialite he met in Grand Rapids named Clara Louise Peck. 

She would become the victim of Waite's biggest, most grandiose deception. At some point during their youth, their worlds had collided: the dashing Arthur Waite and the pharmacy heiress. The two likely knew each other briefly as children, but at some point, Waite set his sights on the Michigan debutante and her family's fortune. When Waite returned from Africa, he visited Clara and her family. Tall, handsome, and a accomplished tennis player, Waite's charm was irresistible. He came with a travelogue of stories about his adventures. With an elongated "a" - a brogue he acquired in Africa - Waite told exciting stories about practicing dentistry in South Africa, about two sizable farms he purchased in East Africa, and about life on the Dark Continent. He won over Clara's mother, Hannah Peck, who considered him a prize for her only daughter. After a while, Clara fell for Arthur Waite. Likewise, Waite had found his soul mate, or at least that is how it appeared to the Peck family. Waite played the role of love-struck suitor well, but he later admitted that he never loved Clara. He did, however, love her family's considerable fortune. With his eyes on the Peck money, Waite worked his charms.

They began a courtship that ended a year later in September 1915 with a wedding at the Fountain Street Baptist Church, a high-society affair that captured the headlines of local newspapers. Clara didn't know it when she ambled down the aisle to meet her Prince Charming, but her family's name would soon dominate the headlines for weeks to come.

The ink on their marriage certificate wasn't even dry when Waite hatched a plan to steal the Peck fortune. The happy couple moved into an apartment at the Coliseum, one of the most expensive residences in New York City, where they lived on a $300-a-month allowance from John Peck. Waite told family and friends that he performed surgeries at local hospitals. He even took Clara to several New York hospitals, where he told her he performed oral surgeries. He would go inside and emerge twenty minutes later, having completed his work.

But it was all just a front. Behind the facade of a hard-working doctor, Waite lived the life of a millionaire playboy. He dined with young ladies, attended the theater, and played tennis. He also acquired samples of dangerous bacilli.  Waite read books about deadly poisons and bacteria. Posing as a doctor studying bacteria, he amassed a collection of dangerous germs. His collection eventually contained pneumonia, tuberculosis, diphtheria, typhoid, and others that he planned to use on his in-laws. With Hannah and John out of the way, his wife Clara would inherit John's considerable wealth, and Waite could live in comfort for the rest of his life.

His first target was his father-in-law's sister, Catherine Peck. Wealthy Aunt Catherine lived in a posh apartment in New York City. Like the other Pecks, she fell for Waite's facade as a debonair gentleman suitor. When Waite asked Aunt Catherine for money, she never denied him. She even gave him the diamond for Clara's engagement ring.

In a devious twist, Waite tried to make Aunt Catherine his first victim, perhaps believing that Clara would inherit a portion of her aunt's fortune. Waite read about arsenic in flypaper, so he burned a few sheets and mixed the residue into her food, but it didn't work. Next, he spiked her food with doses of anthrax, typhoid, tuberculosis, and other deadly germs. Aunt Catherine still didn't get sick, so Waite searched for more deadly strains. He even ground up glass and mixed it with her favorite marmalade. Waite tried something new almost every day, but still Aunt Catherine did not succumb.

His attempts on his wealthy patroness came to an end when John and Hannah Peck visited the couple in January 1916. Waite immediately turned his attention to his mother-in-law. "I had everything ready for her before she arrived," Waite later admitted. Everything consisted of influenza, pneumonia, streptococcus, and typhoid, which he mixed into the food of the first meal she ate. Waite slipped into the dining room ahead of the others with his test tubes and dumped their contents into Hannah's soup.

Unlike her sister-in-law, Hannah became sick. Waite played the role of concerned son-in-law. When Hannah got the chills, he brought her a foot warmer. He even had fresh flowers delivered every day. As his mother-in-law's condition worsened, he stayed by her side. She died less than a week after she arrived of what was presumed to be kidney disease.

Clara and her father John were crushed by the sudden, unexpected death of the Peck matriarch. They were also surprised when Waite said Hannah had told him she wanted to be cremated. Clara was slightly suspicious about her mother's death and wanted an autopsy, but John Peck said such a thing went against his wife's wishes. So after a funeral in Grand Rapids, Waite accompanied the body to a crematorium in Detroit. Hannah's ashes were brought back to Grand Rapids and buried at the Oak Hill Cemetery.

The bereaved John Peck returned to Grand Rapids, but the house was empty and memories loomed around every corner. Lonely and depressed, he traveled east to New York to visit family. In early March 1916, he was once again in the Waite residence at the Coliseum Apartments. Waite immediately commenced attempts to murder John Peck.

At first, he tried the same strategy that worked so effectively with Hannah. He spiked his father-in-law's food with pneumonia, typhoid, and tuberculosis. John was strong and in excellent health, and to Waite's dismay, he didn't become sick. "Then I tried to make him sick by giving him big doses of calomel," Waite later said. "I gave him half a bottle at a time in his food," Waite admitted, along with a steady diet of more germs. Still, John appeared unfazed by this attack on his system. Waite's attempts became bolder and more creative. "I gave him pneumonia germs." Waite said, "and took him riding in the rain. I wet the sheets of his bed at night to give him a cold." Still, the scheme didn't work.

The next day. Waite read a news item about soldiers gassed with chlorine, so he decided to try a chemical weapon on his father-in-law. Waite mixed chlorate of potash with hydrochloric acid and released the homemade chlorine gas in Peck's room. Even this didn't work.

So Waite tried something less creative. He purchased ninety grains of arsenic from a local pharmacy. He dosed everything Peck ate or drank—hot milk, soup, oatmeal, pudding - until Peck had ingested the entire ninety grains. When Arthur poisoned his father-in-law's tea, Clara noticed peculiar bits floating in the mug. The substance eventually dissolved and changed the tea's color. It was suspicious, but Waite dispelled her fears when he told her that he was giving her father medicine in his tea.

Finally, on March 11, 1916, John became deathly ill after a dinner of oysters. Clara made him some eggnog, but she had to run an errand, so Waite agreed to give it to John. When Clara returned two hours later, John was so sick that he couldn't keep down the eggnog.

Clara later said that she saw the same peculiar substance floating in the eggnog as she saw in his tea. That night, the seemingly concerned son-in-law placed a couch outside of Peck's room to keep a vigil. When he heard his father-in-law groan, Waite soaked a rag in chloroform and pressed it over Peck's face. Waite later explained that the chloroform was to ease John's pain, but the real reason may have been to stifle the sick man's groans so Clara didn't hear them. If she heard her father moan, Clara may have called a real doctor, who could have exposed her husband's poison plot. Sometime early in the morning of March 12, John Peck died at the age of seventy-two. His fortune passed in equal shares to Percy and Clara. With the Pecks now out of his way, the smooth-talking Arthur Waite attempted to pressure Clara into willing her entire fortune to him in case she died unexpectedly. 

Waite's diabolical plan was working perfectly. All he needed to do now was to get rid of the evidence. Waite signed Peck's death certificate and sent the body to a Manhattan mortuary for embalming. He then tried to convince Clara that her father should be cremated in Detroit after the family service in Grand Rapids.

Waite was getting away with murder, but he was about to become trapped by a secret he kept from his wife. Every afternoon for several months, he visited Room 1105 at the Plaza Hotel for a rendezvous with a cabaret singer named Margaret Horton. Margaret, the twenty-four-year-old wife of an electrical engineer named Harry Mack Horton, came to New York to pursue a career as a singer. She first met Waite at the Academy of Music where she was performing. Waite became infatuated with the beautiful contralto and introduced himself. Horton was immediately impressed with the multi-talented doctor, who could speak French, play the piano, and talk about theater and opera. The two became good friends. Later, they both attended a local language school where they spent a few hours a day together.

Waite persuaded the young singer to rent an apartment with him at the Plaza Hotel under the name of Dr. and Mrs. A. M. Walters. In their "studio" they conversed in French and read scenes from Romeo and Juliet. Horton later described her relationship with Waite as "platonic," but they spent every afternoon together and Waite even gave her a diamond ring. Margaret's older husband, Harry, later said that he knew of Margaret's relationship with Waite but considered it harmless. The friendship, however, would doom Waite, who didn't know that his Juliet would cause his murder plot to unravel.

While lunching with Margaret at the Plaza on February 22, 1916, Waite bumped into an acquaintance named Elizabeth Hardwick, a schoolteacher and the niece of longtime Peck family friend Dr. Cornell. Flustered, Waite introduced Margaret as a nurse. Elizabeth immediately became suspicious.

But when Elizabeth heard about John Peck's untimely death from her uncle, her suspicion grew into fear. Waite's marriage to Clara, followed by the deaths of Hannah and then John Peck in close succession, put the Peck fortune in Waite's hands - a powerful motive for murder. She raced to Central Station and sent a telegram to Grand Rapids. Unsure of her suspicions, she used a pseudonym - K. Adams. ***The day after Mr. Peck’s death, Dr. Cornell called at the Waite apartment to pay his respects. Waite, with the Peck millions almost in his hands, forgot his suavity for a moment and greeted his father-in-law’s cousin so rudely that Dr. Cornell was hurt. At home that night the doctor expressed his amazement at the demeanor of the erstwhile gracious Waite.***

While Waite and Clara were en route to Grand Rapids with John Peck's body, Percy Peck received K. Adams's telegram. Percy Peck took K. Adams's advice. When the train arrived, he took charge of his father's remains. He consulted two trusted allies: the family's pastor, Dr. Alfred Wishart, and longtime family physician. Dr. Perry Schurtz. Schurtz did the autopsy and removed key organs from John Peck's body, including the stomach, spleen, and lungs, which he sent to the University of Michigan's medical school.

While Percy eagerly awaited the toxicology results, Wishart and Schurtz traveled to New York and met with assistant district attorney Frank Mancuso and Dr. Otto Schullze, a New York medical examiner. They discussed the possibility of a plot to murder the Pecks. Mancuso sent a wire to Dr. Victor Vaughn at the University of Michigan to obtain the results of the toxicology tests done on John Peck's organs. Vaughn's response was shocking: Peck's organs contained enough arsenic to kill ten men.

 At 4:00 a.m. on the morning of March 18, Mancuso and the two men from Grand Rapids searched the Waite apartment. They found some provocative evidence of a possible poison plot: In the library, they found a book about drugs. Wood's Therapeutics and Pharmacologywith the bookmark in the page that described the effects of arsenic on the human body. But they didn't have enough for an arrest; a book wouldn't do it

Meanwhile, a nervous Arthur Waite boarded a train headed for New York while his grief-stricken wife stayed in Grand Rapids. As soon as Waite arrived in New York, he began an attempt to cover up his crimes. He knew that doctors would discover arsenic during the autopsy, and he needed a way to explain how the poison got there.

So, he attempted to bribe the undertaker to say that he used arsenic when preserving the body. Waite knew that in 1907, the state of New York banned the use of arsenic in embalming. The law resulted from a case in which a man accused of poisoning another man claimed that the presence of arsenic in the victim's lungs was the result of embalming, not poisoning. Waite didn't know that by 1916 doctors could determine if arsenic was ingested before or after death. Waite also didn't know that detectives were trailing him. The detectives witnessed the acts of a guilty man on the run. When Waite stopped to make a call from a telephone inside a pharmacy, a detective stood in the next booth and eavesdropped. "Pack and get out at once," Waite said. The call was to a Mrs. A. M. Walters in Room 1105 at the Plaza Hotel.

As Waite tried to cover his trail. Mancuso and Drs. Schultze. Schurtz, and Wishart traveled to Grand Rapids to continue the investigation. On March 21. Schultze and Schurtz conducted a second post mortem on John Peck's remains. It was decided that a second examination was needed to eliminate the possibility that the arsenic found in Peck's organs was the result of the embalming fluid used in New York. They removed the brain and sent it to the University of Michigan's medical school. Once again, the toxicology test revealed a huge quantity of arsenic. This second autopsy sealed Waite's fate.

The next day, detectives arrived at the Waite apartment in New York to arrest Arthur for murder. They pounded on the door, but no one answered. Inside the apartment, they found Waite on the bed, unconscious. He had overdosed. Investigators rushed him to Bellevue Hospital, where he remained in a coma for two days before regaining consciousness. ***Click HERE to read a March 26, 1916 New York Times article about the arrest and evidence against Dr. Waite.***

When Waite became conscious, he denied murdering John Peck or ever purchasing poison. But Waite couldn't explain a signed druggist's receipt dated March 9, which proved he bought arsenic, so he changed his story. He said that Peck was depressed after his wife's death and wanted to commit suicide. According to Waite. Peck asked for his help, so he bought the arsenic at a local pharmacy and gave it to him in a sealed envelope.

But the pile of evidence was mounting against Waite. Detectives found a former maid who Waite paid $1,000 to say that John Peck wanted to commit suicide. And they found the Manhattan undertaker Waite attempted to bribe. The man led detectives to a sandbank on Long Island, where he hid the wad of banknotes that Waite gave him to say he used arsenic when embalming John Peck's body.

Faced with the evidence, Waite changed his story again. He confessed to everything but added a bizarre accomplice. "The man from Egypt" made him do it, he told astonished prosecutors. "I never saw him," Waite said. "But he has been with me always. He made me do evil." ***Dr. Waite claimed his own body was inhabited by the spirit of an evil Egyptian priest, who had instructed him to kill his in-laws in order to gain their wealth.*** 

Clara followed the news with horror as the truth about her husband began to emerge. In the newspapers, Waite's biography of deception and fraud grew with each new edition. More and more people came forward to expose Waite as a cheat and a philanderer. On March 25, Clara broke her silence and issued a statement to the press. "When I was informed of the serious charges against my husband," she said, "I could not believe them. It seemed impossible that a man who had been so uniformly gentle and kind to me and apparently so loyal could be guilty of the crime with which he was charged." 

"My faith began to be shaken," Clara explained, "when it was practically proved to me that Dr. Waite was living with another woman at the Plaza Hotel." Then came the details of the arsenic plot, and Clara could no longer stand by her man. In April Clara filed for divorce. In her divorce suit, she cited the murders and her husband's tryst with Margaret Horton, who insisted that her relationship with Waite was never intimate - they were just friends who met at the Plaza Hotel to study together in their studio. Margaret and her husband Harry gave a detailed statement to prosecutors. Margaret knew nothing of Arthur's plot to murder the Pecks, and when the details of his crimes emerged, she began to suspect his motives. She believed that Waite intended to poison both her and her husband to obtain their money.

According to Margaret, Waite believed that the Hortons were well off. Waite had also wanted to give her medicine, which now looked like a prelude to murder. Prosecutors speculated that Waite's real motive for murdering Margaret, if indeed he planned to murder her, was to cover up his involvement with the pretty cabaret singer. They also speculated that Waite may have planned on running away with Horton after he finished off the Pecks.

Waite's body count would have included three others: Clara, Percy, and Aunt Catherine. According to Percy, after John Peck's funeral, Waite told him that Clara looked ill and would only live a few more months. Later that same day, Waite told Clara that he didn't think Percy had much time left. And he told both Percy and Clara that Aunt Catherine was near the end. These comments suggest that Waite planned to murder the entire Peck family to steal their fortune.

Waite ultimately did more than hint. The New York Times of April 3, 1916, carried the headline "Waite Now Admits Intent to Kill Wife." According to the article, Waite confessed to his lawyer that Clara was going to be his next victim. Waite also said that he never loved Clara, only her money. Adding insult to injury, he said that with his plain-Jane wife out of his way, he could marry a more attractive woman, possibly referring to Margaret Horton. 

By the time the murder trial began in late May, Waite had abandoned the "man from Egypt" story. His life now depended on a bold defense strategy. If he told the graphic details of his crimes in a cool, detached tone and insisted he was sane, the jury would consider him a "moral imbecile" and send him to an institution. In a strange twist, the usual roles of the prosecutor and the defense were reversed.

Waite's lawyers were going to try to emphasize the depravity of the defendant, while the prosecutors were going to show that he wasn't as disturbed as he appeared.  Waite began his testimony with a sketch of his early days. He colored himself as a juvenile criminal who stole anything he could. He pilfered from his family, friends, and later, employers. He also said that he tormented the family cat and drowned her kittens. Waite proceeded to detail the various attempts he made to murder his in-laws. He described the various germs he dumped into John Peck's food and his attempt to gas his father-in-law with homemade chlorine gas. When he described the outrageously diabolical ways he tried to infect John with pneumonia, such as placing ice water in his boots, one juror broke out laughing. Waite, though, didn't break a smile as he described his cold-blooded murders. Exactly what Waite actually did to the Pecks is clouded by his own admissions. Waite's defense strategy was to prove his own depravity; therefore, he may have embellished, although his motive in the crimes and the end result remained clear.

Margaret Horton destroyed Waite's insanity defense when she testified for the prosecution. The twenty-four-year-old walked up to the stand in a black dress, black hat. and veil, as if dressed for a funeral. The New York Times of May 25, 1916, remarked that when she raised her veil, "it could not be denied that she possessed her share of a certain appealing beauty."

She described the history of her relationship with Waite and explained how they came to share their "studio" apartment together at the Plaza Hotel. When asked about the nature of her relationship, Horton testified that it was purely platonic. Horton also described the contents of a letter Waite wrote her from Bellevue Hospital. In the note, Waite said that he expected to spend some time in an asylum for his crimes, but would eventually be free. He also acknowledged the possibility that he could get "la chaise" - the chair - for his crimes and said that he would light for his life out of his love for her. This letter, the prosecution argued, proved that Waite was attempting to feign insanity. Margaret's testimony was devastating to Waite's defense. The jury convicted Waite of first-degree murder and the court sentenced him to die in the electric chair. Waite stood calmly when he heard the sentence. He thanked the court and said he only wished that he had two bodies to give for the two victims he murdered.

On May 24, 1917, war raged in Europe. Congress passed the Selective Service Act, giving President Woodrow Wilson the ability to conscript soldiers. But once again, these stories were pushed to the margins in Michigan and New York newspapers by the Waite case.

"la chaise" at Sing Sing.

On that day, Waite went to "la chaise" in Sing Sing. He was a cool customer, even for his executioner. He kept his composure, smiled, and said nothing as he took his place on the hot seat. After the first jolt of 2,000 volts, a prison doctor detected a faint heartbeat. A second jolt of 2,000 volts ended the story of Dr. Arthur Warren Waite's "subtle" and "daring" poison plot.


Monday, October 29, 2012

The Nazi Titanic

From the History Channel -"To the Nazis of WWII, film was a weapon used to justify murder and even genocide. Joseph Goebbels, the head of the Nazi propaganda machine, personally commissioned The Titanic; he saw it as a potent weapon in demonizing the English. In his pursuit of creating what was to be the Third Reich's cinematic masterpiece he was ruthless. He had the first director murdered and poured in unrivaled resources even bringing troops back from the front to use as extras. The film was intended to show German valor and Allied weakness, but when it was finished it portrayed an entirely different message. It had become an allegory for Nazism itself. There was an all too apparent parallel of a country heading towards its own iceberg and sinking. The story of the Nazi Titanic had an unpleasant sting in its tail. The boat used to play the Titanic in the film, the Cap Arcona, was sunk by allied bombers with an even greater loss of life than the original ship."

From Wikipedia - "Titanic is a 1943 German propaganda film made during World War II in Berlin by Tobis Productions for UFA. The film was commissioned by Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels and enjoyed a brief theatrical run in German occupied Europe starting in November 1943—but not in Germany proper by order of Goebbels himself who feared that it would weaken the German citizenry's morale instead of raising it. Goebbels later banned the playing of the film, and it did not have a second run. The film used the sinking of the RMS Titanic as a setting for an attempt to discredit British and American capitalist dealings and glorify the bravery and selflessness of German men. This was also the first film on the topic simply titled Titanic and the first to combine various fictional characters and subplots with historical personas and events of the sinking; both conventions went on to become a staple of future Titanic films."

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Country House of Character - The Estate of Mr. C. M. Carr

The Estate of Mr. C. M. Carr at Lake Forest, Illinois 

What constitutes the perfect country house? Country Life asked this question of several of the leading architects in New York, and asked them to indicate some country houses which they had designed and which, in their opinion, made them distinctive from other houses. It was to make no difference whether the house were a marble palace at some fashionable watering place or a tiny bungalow in the foothills of the mountains. So long as the architect considered it a good example of a country house and, in his opinion it had character, that was all that we asked. ***1919***

***Below is the selection chosen by Architect Harry T. Lindeberg***

Mr. C. M. Carr's house at Lake Forest, Ill. ***Lake Michigan  at the top***

Mr. C. M. Carr's house at Lake Forest, Ill.

Mr. C. M. Carr's house at Lake Forest, Ill.

Mr. C. M. Carr's house at Lake Forest, Ill.

Mr. C. M. Carr's house at Lake Forest, Ill.

   Mr. C. M. Carr's house at Lake Forest, Ill.         Painted by John Vincent

 Click HERE to see "Wyldwood" at wikimapia.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

From Lobby To Peak: Round About-Again

***From Lobby to Peak - a series of illustrated articles in Our Continent - by Donald G. Mitchell - describing  the New York City  apartment of Louis Comfort Tiffany - progressing from room to room - Mitchell describes the essence of Tiffany's style - part six of eleven - published March 29, 1882*** 

We have here again,  in the corner, a little touch of that bandlet of blue of which we spoke last week, showing with more distinctness the finny denizens of that fancied strip of sea. Against it too is here arranged (by new architectural disposition of the ledges) an array of crystal—flagons, goblets, tumblers—all sharply cut. and by a sort of monotony, more fanciful than real, seeming to lend a little sparkle from their facets of light to the blue of the sea which is behind them.

The twin dishes in the corner show by their position precisely how they are supported and kept in place by the ledge of the dado. We have confronting us too, in the same engraving, the severe cupboard door of which we had occasion to take a glimpse when we came to our "Early Breakfast." Whoso is disturbed by its severity will very likely let his or her eye wander with an approving look to the more ornate one which is hung at the tail of the title line; but let the critic remember that it would never do to flank the quaint simplicity of the colonial mantel with any elaborate decoration in wood; its piquancy would he spoiled by the contrast. There should he no disturbance, by flamboyant carvings, of the repose which such an "old settler" of a mantel should carry with it.

What possible bit of finely this old mantel may have replaced we cannot say, but eight out of ten of the apartment houses built a dozen years ago will show the finery, and ten to one the faithful student of the fashion plates, and "my lady" who shines in the shiniest of satin circulars  will much prefer the finery. Yet, for all, it is a good, sober, homeish mantel—in a New York apartment house, taking off the edge of raw New-Yorkism, and in any house at all carrying traditional sweets of homeishness.

With the finery supplanted by it there certainly belonged the last new grate, with its iron tire prods, and maybe its castellated cast-iron fender and sweet half circle of an arch. Well, in place of it there is only that stupid square opening of a fireplace—of which we see a corner—large enough to take in the big billets of wood under the cupboard, and larger ones by half. Fire-dogs too—if we could set them—standing there sturdily on the tiled hearth, defying the cold, defying bad airs, and shouldering on all murky mornings a sweet burden of blaze.

There is somewhat worth saying of the chimney jambs and of the disposition and treatment of the tiles with which they are covered. They appear to lack any protecting fillet of metal immediately around the fireplace opening. This lack detracts no whit from the effectiveness of the treatment, but does expose the edges to injury by careless servants. The tiles, whose size and juxtaposition are clearly indicated, carry a little fantasy of their own, put in color—a color that is "fired in" and indestructible , yet not a lively or aggressive color, but subdued and showing vague picturings such as an imaginative eye would body forth in reeling clouds of smoke. There are faint indications of a crane, and old, farmers' kettles,and flame and smoke struggling and writhing together-the smoke rising highest and dispersing itself into wreathlets that somehow cover all the exposed area of the chimney, and showing faintly, and more by suggestion than positive outline, the semblance of flowers, of cherubs,  of dragon heads—whatever, in short, a fanciful man will sometimes set himself about discovering, in the winter eventide, amongst the whirls of smoke and flame that loiter and dart around his fire. It is indeed almost   too delicate a subject for an artist to meddle with, except he have smoke upon his pallet and fire in his brush ; but it is poetically typical of the homeliness that ought to reign, and can be made to reign,about a quiet fireside. But the subject of fireplaces is one we shall come upon again and again, and under all sorts of conditions, and what we say here in explanation of this fragment of one is not our last word even about the humblest of them. All neat housewives will agree with us in saying that good tile hearths and tile jambs, whatever figures they carry (so they be not in relief, which is very bad), are easily kept clean. They dust easily: the ashes or smoke do not " set" to them, as they do to rough stone, and not stain them, as they do marble.

Our second engraving, and lesser one, shows a window-screen of opalescent and other glass, which has already been made subject of illustration in one of our art journals, as a type of what the more recent American methods can do in way of glass decoration for homes We restore it here to its place as a screen to the window in our "Apartment" dining-room. It covers half the window, and runs in grooves, and is suspended by such weights and chains as we have before spoken of in connection with the Lobby fixtures—weights and chains which do not need to he hidden, and which by careful adjustment of poise and counterpoise will permit the lift or the fall of the screen at a finger's touch.

Does the  south sun stream in too aggressively through the lower half of the window? We interpose this glazed trellis work, with its riotous growth of leaves and stalk, and the sun is shorn of its sharpness by this seemingly tropical growth. Or if the light is too strong above, a touch of the finger will carry trellis and plant and flaunting leaves up to the height of that bandlet of blue, where—last week—we found birds flying and clouds gathering. And there is yet another practical use for such a screen. which is perhaps most desirable of all. The room is overheated, and a fair and square opening anywhere, in so limited area, makes a pestilent draft : but if we open the window proper—say some fourteen inches—then bring down our trellised screen close upon the windowsill, the air moves in behind it, and through the space between window and screen, disperses itself above, in all the upper regions of the room, without making a light glare, or giving disturbance to the most physical. Then such a screen, with such a subject, carries a racy smack of gardens with it. With the sunlight streaming through it, it is almost a desert in itself—albeit, only an eggplant.

We have remarked only upon the mechanism of this screen, and upon its practical uses, and upon its subject-matter; but of the qualities of this self-colored  glass—its rich hues, its striated texture, its opalescence, and of its adaptation to a multitude of decorative uses, we shall take other occasion to speak.

Donald G. Mitchell

Donald G. Mitchell was a close friend of Tiffany's. Our Continent was a new magazine covering history, literature, science and art. Click HERE to view all earlier posts on Tiffany's Bella penthouse apartment.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Carrère and Hastings: The Masterworks. A Special Lecture at the Flagler Museum

The Flagler Museum presented a lecture by authors Dr. Laurie Ossman and Heather P. Ewing on January 31, 2012 highlighting their book Carrère & Hastings: The Masterworks which was published October 2011.

Watch this hour-long lecture by clicking HERE.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Royal Upstairs Downstairs

2011 BBC production starting with Chatsworth House - twenty 30 minute  episodes - six you can watch on YouTubeAvailable on DVD or your local library. 

From wikipedia -  "In each episode antiques expert Tim Wonnacott and chef Rosemary Shrager visited a country house or castle which had been visited in the 19th century by Queen Victoria. They told the story of Victoria's travels using her own diaries, other contemporary accounts, the household records of the stately homes, and contemporary illustrations". 

"Wonnacott examined items of art and furniture seen and often commented on by Victoria. Shrager examined how the servants coped with the demands of a royal visit, and cooked Victorian dishes".

Friday, October 19, 2012

Mr. Vanderbilt's HOUSE and COLLECTION - Offices & Stables

***Click HERE to view the introduction to this book.*** 

 ***Photos and text from Mr. Vanderbilt's House and Collection, described by Edward Strahan pseudo Earl Shinn - the Holland Edition published in 1883.***


 LIKE every other part of the establishment, the Offices and Stables are adapted to their ends, with a completeness that can no farther go, but without one touch of luxury that is only for display. A glimpse of the Pantry has already been given, looking somewhat like an ordinary jeweler's shop, at least when the fireproof safes in both their upper and lower stories are open, and acting the part of its own watchman by the completeness of its burglar-braving armor. The culinary arrangements are correspondingly exhaustive, giving the last word of thoroughness, and occupying a large airy hall below-stairs. In the design forming the headpiece***above*** to this chapter is seen the "battery," in graded coppers, like the helmets of slain knights in an armory; the refrigerators, with transparent doors; the
cauldron of hot water, bearing a general resemblance to Trajan's column; the mortars, the strainers, the tin-kitchens; and all of these accessory to the mighty alembic, the stove with as many gates as Thebes, occupying a wall of the room, and making the heart of the Chef to laugh with the thought that here at last he has Opportunity that is a match for Ability.


The stabling, only a street or two away, is certainly luxurious, but entirely without affectation. In a handsome stone building, two stories in height, are found the accommodations for coaches and animals, divided into three principal stables. In the design of the view into the stable on this page is seen the skylighted court, surrounded by a walk of tan, in which the horses can be exercised in any weather. In the centre of this apartment, on a flooring of cement, are collected some of the lighter trotting-wagons, interesting for the time they have made, in famous encounters, when attached to the traces of trotters whose exploits are famous the world over. Wagon-trotting, the American specialty, has recorded some of its white-letter days in these filmy vehicles, the masterpieces of an art unknown in other countries. In these wheels, invisible in action, the wonderful Yankee wood, the hickory, seems to realize the ideal of tenacity unencumbered by weight. As an example of the lightness in carriage-architecture attained by American builders, 

it may be mentioned that the foremost wagon seen in the engraving weighs but fifty-nine pounds; it is more readily lifted than many a chair in the mansion; when the shafts are attached, it flies after the racer without encumbering him, and the driver gets the best time out of his horse without having to fork him like a jockey, but comfortably sitting in a cushioned scat. It was made by Charles Caffrey & Co., of Camden. Beyond is seen the no-top road-wagon, one hundred and seventeen pounds with the shafts, made by J. B. Brewster; in the background, same maker, is a topped road-wagon, weighing one hundred and fifty pounds. ***Trivia Question - Make the connection to Mona Strader Schlesinger Bush Williams von Bismarck de Martini.*** 

The favorite horses of the stud are Aldine, Early Rose and Maud S. It may be mentioned that the cost of Aldine was fifteen thousand dollars, and that of Early Rose thirteen thousand and twenty-five, making the original value to the proprietor of this famous team twenty-eight thousand and twenty-five dollars. The boulevards leading from the city along the Hudson have been daily witnesses of the exploits of this unrivaled pair of trotters. Maud S., having often been allowed to compete in public races, is still more widely famous, her time in many a hard-won match having become historical, whether for short spurts or for a long stay. One of her greatest triumphs was for staying-power. It was in Kentucky, where the heroine often spends her summers, attracted by the taste of the famous blue grass; on the occasion mentioned, Maud trifled at first, and lost three heats, "tied" the fourth, and finally won the fifth, sixth and seventh, leaving at a distance of eighty yards behind her the horse which at first was in the van. Maud S. is the fastest trotter the world has known, having made a mile in 2 minutes 93/4 seconds.  Her fame is therefore quite unrivaled  and we can well understand the desire of the patent-medicine firm which offered the proprietor twenty-five thousand dollars for the mere privilege of changing her name from Maud to that of the nostrum made in the establishment, an invitation that was the sincerest form of quackery. Since the above was written Maud S. has been sold to Mr. Robert Bonner, the New York publisher.   The owner of these steeds is well known as probably the best driver on the road, as was, in an earlier day, his father before him; and a taste for choice horse-flesh is combined in his case with far-sighted views on breeding and maintenance, which have long been an active influence in the improvement of the strain in the United States.

The stabling consists of twelve box-stalls, in the more ample of which the high-strung animals just named walk about without any kind of fastening, and converse with their favorite grooms when in an affable mood. Six ordinary stalls accommodate the heavier coach-horses, separated by columns of bronze and trimmed with the most tasteful carpeting of woven straw. The floors are of narrow waxed plank, as is the ceiling, through which the food descends by a mechanical contrivance. These stalls, where the principal animals have their apartments indicated by engraved door-plates, occupy the building seen through the doorway of the exercising court; a fuller view of them is yielded by one of the photogravure plates. Another plate shows the carriage-house alongside, with a row of family coaches of all kinds; here are the blankets of Aldine, the Rose and Maud, merely to feel which would make a sick coachman well; here are the various fur robes, the arsenal of whips, shafts and tongues, in cabinets or ranged along the wall. The polished floor, of variegated woods, is usually covered by breadths of thick matting. In this coach-house, which is hung with appropriate pictures, is to be found an elaborate whip, perhaps the most artistic ever made, offered to the proprietor by some of his friends, and showing on its ivory handle a cameo portrait of himself, with trains of cars, ocean steamers, etc., chasing each other along the stock, as an indication that the time obtained when the whip is under use is immensely superior to mere time of steam or wind. 

Click HERE to see where the stables stood.

Martha Stewart’s Cooking School

In case like me you were wondering where Martha went -

Monday, October 15, 2012

Mr. Vanderbilt's HOUSE and COLLECTION - Apartments

***Click HERE to view the introduction to this book.*** 

 ***Photos and text from Mr. Vanderbilt's House and Collection, described by Edward Strahan pseudo Earl Shinn - the Holland Edition published in 1883.***



Such description as it is proper to give of the family rooms on the first floor may begin with the Boudoir, the northernmost chamber of the suite, looking out on Fifth Avenue, and measuring twenty-six feet long by eighteen feet wide. It is finished in a woodwork, for dado and door-frames, entirely composed of ebony, inlaid with ivory. The walls are covered with a brocade of dark-blue silk, manufactured in France from a pattern furnished for the purpose from America; the blue is watered with lines of gold thread, interspersed with small dragonflies in gold; the carpet is also blue, inlaid with small gold figures of Turkish device. The ceiling presents, in two long panels, paintings of Cupids engaged in music and dancing. The mantelpiece shows a frame and columns of yellow marble with Ionic capitals, over which rises the mantel-hood, an elaborate arched affair, in ebony, with shelving and cabinets. The central arch supports a painted frieze by the late Mr. Christian Herter, in what may be called the Belgian style of art; it represents the Triumph of Cupid, 


showing the soldier, the maiden and even the monk, bringing tribute to the love-god enthroned as king.    A quantity of beautiful bric-a-brac fills the shelving and arcades of this mantel - a clock with a seated nymph, Gerome's Sword-Dance and Almeh in silver, and a pair of fine Solon pate-sur-pate vases, sixteen inches high, showing graceful Greeks engaged in gardening and tree-planting. The divans and chairs are completely cushioned, so as to conceal the frames, and are covered with the same blue and gold moire as the walls.

Seven family paintings are hung in this room, including the proprietor's father, that well-known New York figure whose fine gray head yielded such an unusual chance to the portraitist, and his married daughters.

Turner's "Fountain of Indolence" has been sometimes hung in this room, and, more recently, in the Picture-Gallery below. In the photogravure plate illustrating this apartment it appears conspicuously, so that a good idea of it, in all but its sumptuous color, may be got from that engraving. It measures sixty-four by forty-one inches, and has never been otherwise engraved. It is by far the largest and most important Turner in America. It was first exhibited in the Royal Academy in 1834, and was obtained in 1882 from the dealers Agnew & Sons.   In this sumptuous and visionary 



composition Turner gives fullest play to his dream, translating Thomson's vision of idleness into a no-man's-land of playing fountains and balancing stone-pines, with a reclining fisher and half-seen maidens almost lost in the vermilion vapors of sunset.


Beside it, in the same plate, is seen a curious Japanese cabinet, six and a half feet high, in which the ornamentation is odd and only to be thought of by Orientals. On a basis of reddish plum-tree wood are applied scenes of farming and fishing in a kind of sketch-work of ivory - the ivory outlines, in relief, defining the trees, the figures and the clouds.

Another cabinet, separately represented in one of the plates, is of ebony inlaid with ivory, and has been placed here in harmony with the architectural fittings of the apartment. It is of renaissance style, is seven feet high, and its ivory bas-reliefs are of high artistic value. The largest of these reliefs shows Venus with her doves, with Adonis sitting on a rock beneath a tree, in his enchanted garden, while Cupids pour on him the life-giving showers from their urn among the clouds.

A largo Japanese screen in this room, five by three and a half feet, shows two mother-of-pearl phoenixes, with tails in scales of tortoise-shell, perched on a golden tree on the black ground of the panels.

A lady's Bedroom, to the south of this Boudoir, is the culmination of everything elegant, delicate and fresh contained in the house. The furniture is the most choice, the most elegant, that the mansion contains. In this exquisite room, where silver toilet-services, embroidered silks and delicate hangings vie with masterly paintings to refresh the attention, it would seem that the dreams must be propitious and the waking pleasant. Among the fragile glitter of the upholstery, where everything seems to start bright and crisp from the hands of the artificer, there is one worn-looking object, and only one; it is the little Bible, placed on the candlestand at the head of the bed. The frieze and cove of the chamber are in rosewood and mahogany. Silken damask, in flowers and vines, covers the wall.

The unusual delicacy and elegance with which this chamber is appointed throughout, find their culmination in the painting on the ceiling, certainly one of the most refined works of art to be found in the world devoted to such a destination.   This is "The Awakening of Aurora," a floating and visionary chain of life-size figures occupying all the ceiling-space.   The artist is Jules Lefebvre, whose "Mignon" and "Toilet of the Bride" we shall encounter in the Picture-Gallery, and who has already sent some of his finest works to America, such as "The Dew" (in the Astor collection), the "Cigale," the "Dawn," the "Odalisque," etc.   The composition here, at first sight, seems principally to consist of the light gossamer clouds of daybreak, among which, faintly and gradually, figure after figure steals  into sight. Aurora Sleeps,
cushioned on the vapors, her head wrapped in veils of white and pillowed on her arm. Below her the red sun rises out of the dark ocean.   She is awakened by a Zephyr of the morning, a moth-winged spirit which sings in her ear; another little Zephyr, still sleeping, curls under her arm.   Above, across the flying clouds, the moon-goddess passes quickly in her chariot, drawn by obedient nymphs; crowned with her crescent, and shooting her last arrow at one of the mischievous Loves of night, the cold queen of the darkness recedes from the scene with precipitation and tumult, leaving the realm to Aurora alone.   This imaginative rendering of the awakening of the world is expressed in figures of such accomplished grace, tenuity and delicacy, that it seems as if 



some old Greek chisel had been resuscitated to carve them in bas-relief from the  marbles of Paros;  modern art would  


have appeared hardly competent to caress into being these unsubstantial draperies, these tapering and moulded limbs, these faces from which every trace of the empire of carnal sense has been kept away.

In truth, it would be hard to find another artist of our time competent to treat such a subject with such elevation. This ceiling-picture should go to posterity with the "Source" of Ingres, as our highest achievement in pure classic, as the studious nineteenth century comprehends it. It is only fair to say that the artist is fully cognizant of the great leap of his genius consecrated in this lucky picture. We have heard him, in ordinary conversation, allude to the "Plafond" as his masterpiece, the achievement which best satisfies himself, that by which he would fain be principally known to the future, and that whose reproduction he would wish his children to see, to treasure and prize after his death.

A family portrait in this chamber deserves special cognizance, although the portrait-gallery, in a general sense, hardly falls within the purview of such a work as this. It is the half-length likeness of a daughter of the house, also by Jules Lefebvre; a figure with an expression strangely compounded of gaiety and native dignity, turning with a glad smile to regard the spectator, in an attitude that well conveys the effect of walking and the sense of arrested motion. The painting of this canvas, as narrated by M. Lefebvre, shows the conscience with which the higher class of French artists accept their tasks. The painter had received the commission to execute the likeness during a temporary halt of his sitter and her parents in Paris. The original picture, a half-length, was considered finished when the family left the capital for a Swiss excursion. On their return the artist, seeing with delight his sitter transformed by a health-giving tour, with pulses heightened, with frame and movement more elastic, with complexion brilliant from the mountain air, and with eyes grown more lustrous, resolved at once, without any bargaining, to reject the picture already made and prepare a little surprise in the shape of a new portrait "I tore the first picture from top to bottom without hesitation," were his own words lately, perhaps not literally and materially accurate, in describing the incident. A second likeness, three-quarter length, whose posture and general treatment can be seen in one of' the designs inserted in the text, was sketched in and worked at with enthusiasm; and its peculiar air of elastic movement, its carriage as of a health-goddess, and its hunting-nymph complexion, are explained by the fact that the portrait is a souvenir of a happy mountain tour.

Underneath the "Aurora" overhead hang the canopy-draperies of the bed, in rich stuffs, desending from a carved tester near the ceiling. Among the mahogany and rosewood fittings of the room will be noticed the framework of the principal door, of three which open from the chamber; it is of marquetry-work, renaissance style, with vases of flowers inlaid; the dado is likewise of hardwood finish, with its polish interrupted by designs in marquetry.

A set of chairs, with a reclining-chair or chaise lounge  of very light and dainty design, are by Allard fils, of Paris; to cover these, a valuable series of ancient Italian embroideries, of silk on silk, has been sacrificed.   Scenes of courtship, suggesting the most romantic episodes of Ariosto and Tasso, occupy the shield-shaped spaces devoted to these groups, and decorate the chair-backs. A tall Dutch antique clock, by Johannes Neuman, of Amsterdam, plays an old-fashioned tinkling tune; on its dial, a changing face of the moon shows in numbers the day of the month; in another circle, over a figure of Time, a slide indicates the day of the week.

Stepping out upon the balcony - from either of the windows between which reposes the silver toilet service on its 


dressing-case—we find ourselves looking across the avenue towards the gardens of a charitable institution, and, just opposite, the principal cathedral of America. This recessed balcony is the subject of the design forming the tailpiece to the first chapter. It is the most ambitious piece of architecture to be found anywhere in the stonework of the house, and forms a choice nook, with its vases of growing plants, its graceful Ionic pillars and pilasters, and its ceiling all aglow with gold mosaic. The bronze railing here, corresponding with that which forms a crest for the vestibule, is of more elaborate pattern than that surrounding the garden-plats below. Like all the constructive bronzework about the building, it is cast in a faultless manner by the well-known Bureau Brothers, of Philadelphia.

Another bedroom, the next to the south, differs from the last and attracts attention by its unmistakable air of masculine usage and proprietorship. Here is a very magnificent and imperial-looking bed, fit to shelter the dreams of power or of authority; its canopy is a heavy tabernacle of the richest stuffs, and its carvings are hardly adequately seen in its reflection within the mirror, as depicted in the large design inserted in the text. This chamber is finished in rosewood inlaid with satinwood; the silken damask covering the walls shows the quaintest designs, of the old Persian style, with horses or hippo-griffins of heraldic character bursting from the fantastic blossoms which climb over the tissue. Undeniably, the fittings of this room are as rich as those to be found in the residences of kings, though richness does not seem to be the chief object, a decidedly austere and utilitarian air pervading all the conveniences with which the chamber is provided.   A dressing-room adjacent has proved one of the most expensive chambers in the mansion; the tubbing and basin arrangements are of silver, set in mahogany, while the wainscoting, to the height of eight feet, 


is in glass opalescent plaques or tiling of gold, blue and silver tints, gilded on the backs and set securely in the cement; the dressing-room ceiling is vaulted in the Pompeian style; the approach to this toilet-room is dissimulated by the sliding doors, consisting of very large plate-glass mirrors; these mirrors yield at a touch, though they are with their framework very heavy, being set in chiseled brass.

DECORATED BY PROSDOCINI                                                                     PHOTOGAVURE

The boudoir and pair of chambers just described form a suite on Fifth Avenue. Facing at a right-angle to these, and fronting on the lateral street, is a room the perfection of cosiness and snugness. Every accessory invites to intelligent thought and study. The walls are lined with a large and choice selection of books.   Besides the evidences of a literary taste manifested in this Study, are the signs of a musical propensity, shown in the large piano and the other instruments of sound; sporting tastes are encouraged too, and it is not unusual to find a light rowing-boat carried bodily into the room and forgotten on the floor. A carved wooden sofa-chest, like those of the 


Medici period, a wooden mantelpiece of corresponding device, with rich stamped leathers on the wall above,—reading-lamps, literary utensils, and every temptation to a student's life,—portraits and busts, the familiars of the readers thoughts, compose the intellectual and the literal furniture.

The life-size head of Longfellow, engraved in line by Marshall, hangs above the reading chair; this portrait, accepted by the poet in the most final manner by his autograph attached to all the impressions of the proof edition, was the last likeness made during his lifetime. The publisher of this print, Mr. George Barrie, who likewise issues the present work, was entirely unprepared, though not necessarily surprised, to see, on a chance visit, the selection he had made of what in his view was the Longfellow-portrait most likely to satisfy the critical, thus endorsed and accepted in a typical house, famous for the fastidiousness of its art-selections.

The busts of Moliere, and other eminences of the bewigged period of literature, look down from the book-cases. On the mantel is seen the life-mask of Washington, taken from nature by the great Houdon, and cast in bronze in our times by Maurice Power. A more intelligent and fruitful choice of books than is to be found in the thousands which conceal the walls of this Study, seldom gladdens the literary visitor in a fashionable house. The other apartments, whose linings of silk and damask, of mosaic and leather and ebony, have been cheerfully praised, must yield after all in preciousness to the room which is lined with brains.