This section is from the book "The Practical Book Of Interior Decoration", by Harold Donaldson Eberlein, Abbot Mcclure, Edward Stratton Holloway. See also: The Victorian House Book: A Practical Guide to Home Repair and Decoration.
In considering Period Furniture, as indeed with the whole subject of decoration, let us appeal for a broader and more catholic spirit than is often found. Just why the sympathies and appreciation of many writers and decorators are so limited is rather puzzling. One may certainly prefer one style to all others - such preference will usually be found temperamental - without exalting that style to the depreciation of others.
There have been a few bad periods and there have been some bad pieces designed in all good periods, but these may be ignored. If we review the various periods and styles we shall find that each is excellent for its own qualities and that its qualities differ from those of others. Let us, therefore, enjoy and employ them in accordance with this and not quarrel with them because they do not possess that which belongs to others. We shall, as usual, make ourselves clear by an example.
There are some whose temperament inclines them toward the classic, the refined and the formal who are scathing in their remarks upon the furniture of Queen Anne. Queen Anne furniture is not of classic style, but we find something else which the classic does not always possess - quaintness, homeliness and comfort. May we quote here a phrase from Henry James in relation to objects of far less artistic worth than Queen Anne furniture: "The infirmity of art was the candour of affection." There we have it in a few words. We may often love an object which falls short of the su-premest beauty, while that beauty incarnate in another object may fill us with undying admiration but leave our affections cold.
The classic, the romantic and the quaint each has its place in our varied lives and circumstances. We need not disparage one because of the other: broad-mindedness will see that in one establishment or another there is a place for each. A study of Part I and Part III on Internationl-Interperiod Decoration, will show the qualities and what might be termed the meanings of the various styles, when we can then determine which of them are best suited to our own use and circumstances.