BY-WAYS - 5/6/48 - Ye Olde Curiosity Shoppe - May 1, 1948.

Greetings, dear friends!

'Tis now the merry, merry month of May. The chill of April is still in the air. We snored our farewell to her under wool blankets, plus a comforter on each bed. I'm sorry to have missed my visit with you last week. I was so busy that I didn't have time to write Mr. Walker to tell him that I didn't have time to write. Virgil is becoming so skilled in the arts of housewifery that I am having a vacation from housework today. So let's visit Ye Olde Curiosity Shoppe without delay. This house is a far cry from Dickens' Curiosity Shop. Yet there is a tiny bond between them, in the shape of a beautiful little mahogany case, with glass doors, that has the place of honor on the living-room mantel. Dr. Phillips found it in the old Curiosity Shop last summer. Two quaint little figures - a boy and a girl - a gift from a friend - stand inside. On either side, hanging on the wall, are lovely miniatures from Rome. To the right of the mantel is a flawless Sheraton, chest. To the left, in the corner, is an exquisite Windsor secretary. Within its glass doors, on the three shelves, are charming little figures, gathered from England and Europe ... Barnyard animals, chickens, and birds have a special appeal for our "hobbyist" minister, and they adorn many a window and nook in this eleven-room house. In front of the fire-place, with its brass andirons, screen, wood-basket, et al, is a heavy mahogany bench, made by Dr. Phillips himself, from the trees on his own Jamaica farm. Needless to say, it is a work of art. Under it is a Crashley Bukhara rug, which is a lovely thing.

In another corner of the living-room is an upright piano with an ebony veneer, with brass candle-holders on either side of the music rack. The gold lettering says, "STEINWAY & SONS" ** NEW YORK ** LONDON ** HAMBURG" and the word "patent." That famous company must have a patent on tone and pitch, for that piano, a gift of love from a once-wealthy family, has not been tuned for many years, yet sounds in perfect tune, with a rich, mellow tone. In the fourth corner is a small table, covered with heavy tapestry, and bearing a tall lamp of the oil-lamp era, marble base, fancy metal stem, and glass dome with pendant prisms. Beside it are two candelabra, blue-and-white, that are the most beautiful I have ever seen. In the reception room are a Hepplewhite chest and a Chippendale highboy, all the original brass in perfect and shining condition. On the chest, which stands by the open-rail stairway, is an exquisite Delft vase, flanked by a whale-oil lamp and a dainty blue Dutch figurine.

Now I must leave the rest for another time. But... you ain't heard nothin' yet. With best wishes to you all - and hoping you are enjoying this rich, colorful, and verdant spring.

Your (fairly) faithful,
Florence B. Taylor

Next - 5/20/48 - More on the Curiosity Shoppe
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