Last spring, after artist Lori Wilson (Wilson Decorative Solutions, New Berlin, NY) restored the Dining Room walls to their marbleized 1833 appearance, we were ready to install the reproduction Brussels carpet designed by David Hunt of the Vermont Custom Rug Company. Woven on the looms of the Langhorne Carpet Company in Penndel, Penn., the highly figured Brussels carpet is an exact copy of the 1833 dining room carpet ordered by George Clarke. Closely examining original pieces of carpet that had survived on two ottomans still in our collections, David was able to precisely copy the colors and patterns that made up its body and border. With its installation in late October, Hyde Hall now boasts another great rarity in American house museums: a completely authentic copy of a carpet that once graced this elegant room. Next step: the restoration of the red, worsted wool figured damask curtains that will complete the transformation of our historic American dining room in the best French and English taste.
One of the highlights of our program this weekend are our mansion tours that will feature some of our newly installed Brussels carpet, consistent with the colors and designs that were popular in the 1830’s. The image above shows the new carpet in the drawing room which incorporates some of the room design elements in the pattern. Over the past two years, new ingrain carpeting has been installed in other areas of Hyde Hall including the Family Dining Room, the Main Staircase, and the Tiger Maple Staircase.
Visitors to our Celebrate Mom! Garden Party this weekend (Saturday, May 7, 2016 from 1pm to 5pm) will have the opportunity to view and learn all about the new carpets that are currently installed and our plans for continuing the project in additional rooms. Guided tours will leave the East Portico every half hour throughout the event until 4pm.
This free event is open to the public and includes our tours, displayed artifacts and collection items, maypole dancing, tea and treats in the dining room, live music with Eight is Enough, dramatic readings, book signings and more!
Click the play button below to listen to Alta Trinita Beata, performed by Eight is Enough for a sample of what you will hear at the event!
Contact: Jonathan Maney, Director, Hyde Hall, (607) 547-5098 Ext. 3
Springfield, New York—Once one of New York State’s most fashionable mansions, Hyde Hall is regaining its high-style elegance. Through a generous grant from the Gipson family of Unadilla, a luxurious wall-to-wall wool figured Brussels carpet is now being installed in the Drawing Room.
Designed by David Hunt of the Vermont Custom Rug Company and manufactured by the Langhorne Carpet Company of Penndel, PA, this carpet will recreate the kind of floor covering once found in many of the mansion’s principal rooms, including the Front Hall and the Dining Room. In the early 19th-century, Brussels carpets, which have a looped pile construction, were typically installed in the homes of America’s most wealthy citizens, including presidents and major landowners.
Based on extensive research, the Hyde Hall Brussels carpet will be consistent with the colors and designs popular in the 1830s while incorporating motifs from the Drawing Room frieze and ceiling plasterwork. The result will be a custom carpet that coordinates with the rest of the enormous room. “In furnishing his home, George Clarke, the builder of Hyde Hall, wanted to create large and impressive reception rooms in which to entertain his guests,” says Jonathan Maney, Hyde Hall’s Executive Director. “When they were complete, Clarke filled them with polished mahogany furniture, oversize gilt mirrors, innovative lighting such as the vapor light chandeliers, and sumptuous curtains supported by gilt valances. By the time of his daughter’s wedding in 1834, these rooms were majestic.”
Looking ahead Maney says that the Brussels carpet planned for the Dining Room will be an exact reproduction based on the surviving pieces. The Main Hall carpet will be determined by the Drawing Room and Dining Room carpets: its design will serve as a bridge between the two while not matching either. “This gives us much more to offer our visitors.”
In the past two years Hyde Hall has also been enriched by gifts of ingrain carpeting installed in the Family Dining Room, the Main Staircase, and the Tiger Maple Staircase. “Now we can show how colorful and comfortable a place like this was,” Maney says. “With wall-to-wall carpets, central heat in the Great House section, and the first water closet west of the Hudson River, Hyde Hall was an oasis of comfort and luxury—one of the finest private homes in America.”
Hyde Hall (hydehall.org), a National Historic Landmark and New York State Historic Site, was built between 1817 and 1834 as the centerpiece of a 120,000-acre estate inherited by George Clarke, a British-born landowner. It was inhabited by direct descendants of the Clarke until the 1940s. It is open for guided tours from May through October, and visitors of all ages will enjoy its beautiful grounds overlooking Otsego Lake and touring its rich collection of furniture, paintings, and decorative arts. It is located on the grounds of beautiful Glimmerglass State Park in Springfield, New York, eight miles north of Cooperstown.
The new Hyde Hall Brussels carpet is nearing the end of production and we are looking forward to installation sometime around the beginning of October!
Here are some of the production images from the Vermont Custom Rug Company – we can’t wait to see it all come together and look forward to the transformation of the Drawing Room and the restoration of its elegance!
Click on any of the images below to view in carousel.