The Cross House
Almost a year ago I did a post about the lighting which I had purchased for the Cross House.
Although I sell vintage lighting for a living, I specialize in post-1920 lighting, so Victorian-era lighting is a mystery to me. However, slowly, bit-by-bit, I have been gaining a suggestion of knowledge about the era.
As such, everything I purchased for the house last year is, I now realize, wrong for the house. It may be vintage, it may be beautiful, but none of it would have been in the house in 1894.
I now know that the Cross House was extraordinarily advanced in having gas/electric combination ceiling fixtures and wall sconces. I now know that the Cross House was likely the first house in Emporia to have electric lighting. And that is pretty friggin’ cool.
So, today, I have a strong desire to make sure that the lighting I put into the house reflects the historic integrity of the house.
Regarding the above fixture.
Bo Sullivan told me it was more 1904 than 1894. Drat! But I nonetheless still plan, at the moment, to keep it. I may though hang a little note, tied on a dangling string, from one arm: This fixture reflects the original gas/electric nature of the lighting in the Cross House, but the fixture dates from about a decade after the house. Please forgive Ross. His intentions are honorable.
Another option would be paying out hush money. As Bo is likely the only person in America who will recognize the fixture as being a bit later than the Cross House — oh, the horror! — I could, well, ahh, pay for his silence, right? Maybe $5 a month? $20? $100? If this cunning plan succeeds, then Bo will remain silent, I can use the fixture, and nobody will be any the wiser!!!!!!!
So, with these two plans in mind, I have gone ahead and hung the fixture in the Cross House. This is a particular thrill as it is the first almost-period-correct lighting I have hung!
While I have a newly born dedication to finding and installing period-correct gas/electric lighting in the Cross House, I remain open to, well, having some fun. In some rooms I may install a 1960 Sputnik chandelier, or a 1970s Hollywood-Regency pendant.
In short, as long as these modern insertion ARE clearly modern, and could not possibly be confused with 1894 lighting, I don’t think I will be distorting the historical record, thus causing a tear in the time/space continuum and the end of life as we know it.
You know, one has to be careful about these things.