Stevie Carroll (stevie_carroll) wrote,
Stevie Carroll

Christmas through history at the Geffrye Museum (Part One)

The Geffrye Museum decorates all its rooms for Christmas in keeping with the period of each. I was over there on the Saturday before last for the annual Christmas Lecture, and managed to get a bunch of photos while I was there.

But first, the outside:
Geffrye Museum 151212 (1)

The Museum is housed in the former almshouses of the Ironmongers' Company, founded by a bequest from Sir Robert Geffrye in 1714.

And here he is:
Geffrye Museum 151212 (3)

The first room is decorated in the style of a hall from 1630:
Geffrye Museum 151212 (4) Geffrye Museum 151212 (33)

The room is decorated with native evergreens, a Yule log is in the fireplace, and the various food items on the table are actually made of sugar-paste or marzipan.

Moving on, the decoration in the parlour from 1695 seems simpler:

Geffrye Museum 151212 (5) Geffrye Museum 151212 (32)

Although someone seems to have inherited Chaloner's bass viol, judging by the second picture.

50 years later, and the guests are about to be served jellies:
Geffrye Museum 151212 (6)

By 1790, the parlour presents a more elegant dining experience again, in my opinion:
Geffrye Museum 151212 (7)

Into the 19th century, the table in the 1830 drawing room has a Twelfth Night cake as its centrepiece:
Geffrye Museum 151212 (8)

By 1870 we see evidence of the children of the household in the drawing room:
Geffrye Museum 151212 (29) Geffrye Museum 151212 (9)

Geffrye Museum 151212 (10) Geffrye Museum 151212 (28)

Note the Union Flags on top of the Christmas tree (positioned on the table so it looks bigger)
Geffrye Museum 151212 (30) Geffrye Museum 151212 (31)

Presents would have been set out below the tree or in its branches, unwrapped, and labelled with the name of their recipients.

By 1890, the aesthetic movement was the height of fashion, along with Chinese and Japanese influences:
Geffrye Museum 151212 (27) Geffrye Museum 151212 (12)

That's more than enough pictures for one post, so the twentieth century will have to wait until tomorrow.

More photos on the museum's website here.
Tags: out and about, photos, real life, truth stranger than fiction
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