While all bric-a-brac should be beautiful, some certain kinds, such as lamps, clocks, and jardinieres, are also essentially useful, and these have undergone a wonderful transformation during recent years as a result of the movement toward simplicity, honesty of purpose, and fitness. It would be hard to imagine anything more incongruous than the porcelain lamp decorated with flowers of heroic endurance which blossomed unwiltingly on, regardless of the heat; or the frivolously decorated clock when the passing of time is so serious a matter; or the gaudy jardiniere, whose coloring killed the green of the plant it held. But we have grown past this. Now our light at eventide is shed through a simple, plain-colored shade of porcelain or of Japan paper and bamboo (if one cannot afford the plain or mosaic shades of opalescent glass), from an oil tank fitted into a bowl of hand-hammered brass or copper, or of pottery, of which there are so many beautiful pieces of American manufacture in dull greens, blues, browns, grays, and reds. These lamps are not expensive - no more so than their onyx and brass forbears - and are quiet, restful, beneficent in their influence.
Jardinieres we find in the same wares and colorings, which not only throw the plant into relief but tone in with the other decorations of a room in which nothing stands out distinct from its fellows, but all things work together for harmony. Clocks no longer stare us out of countenance, but follow, in brass, copper, or rich, dark woods, the sturdy simplicity of their ancestor, the grandfather's clock, and so become worthy of the place of honor upon the mantel, where candlesticks, antique or modern, in brass or bronze, also find a congenial resting place.