I started volunteering at Dalnavert last weekend. The goal is to one day soon, start guiding guests through the house. The secondary goal is to get up close and personal to some of the things in the house. When touring a museum, you don’t always have the time to study individual items and often you don’t notice them…they dissolve and become part of the ambiance. When volunteering at a museum, you see things over and over and you become more aware of them. You can also get closer to them and study them. A Few of My Favorite Things will become a regular feature here…I think. We shall see.
First stop, the sewing room.
Sweet wall paper. Not gloomy like we often associate with Victorian homes.
The museum is not entirely sure about the original purpose for this room. It is two steps down from the family part of the house so it was the domain of the servants. Because of a vent in the ceiling, which is similar to vents in the family bathrooms, it is theorized that it was the servants’ bathroom. Visitors don’t need to see more than one bathroom so they decided to make it into a sewing room.
The first “up close and personal” item isn’t one of those small things you don’t notice. This thing was the focal point of the sewing room.
I think it is a night gown. It is quite pretty with tiny little pleats and lace inserts.
As a volunteer, I got to go past the gate and check out the back of this gown. The pleats and inserts continued in the back but there was less lace. Also, in the back, there is evidence of shattering and conservation repairs made to the gown.