Moving Rooms:
The Trade in Architectural Salvages

John Harris

Price
£30
Type
Print
Publicaton Date
May 2007
Standard Number
9780300124200
Distributor
Yale University Press
Specifications
240 pages

Since at least Tudor times there have been architectural salvages: panelling, chimney pieces, doorways, or any fixtures and fittings might be removed from an old interior to be replaced by more fashionable ones. Not surprisingly a trade developed and architects, builders, masons, and sculptors sought out these salvages. By 1820 there was a growing profession of brokers and dealers in London, and a century later antique shops were commonplace throughout England.

This fascinating book documents the break-up, sale, and re-use of salvages in Britain and America, where the fashion for so-called “Period Rooms” became a mainstay of the transatlantic trade. Much appreciated by museum visitors, period rooms have become something of a scholarly embarrassment, as research reveals that many were assembled from a variety of sources. One American embraced the trade as no other--the larger-than-life William Randolph Hearst--who purchased tens of thousands of architectural salvages between 1900 and 1935.