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Furnishing Fashionably: Ackermann’s Repository, 1816

A lovely chaise from Ackermann's Repository, 1816.

Ackermann’s Repository of Arts was an illustrated, British periodical published from 1809-1829 by Rudolph Ackermann. Although commonly called Ackermann’s Repository, or, simply Ackermann’s, the formal title of the journal was Repository of arts, literature, commerce, manufactures, fashions, and politics, and it did, indeed cover all of these fields.  In its day, it had great influence on English taste in fashion, architecture, and literature.

Along with articles on current events, stories and helpful tips, the magazine was famous for its studies of women’s fashion and architecture, including home furnishings. The following plates are from 1816. These beautiful illustrations give a good example of society interior decorating from the era when Jane Austen was writing Persuasion. No doubt it is the style of opulence to which Sir Walter and Elizabeth Elliot would like to become accustomed to. Glancing through the pages gives the modern reader a delightful context in which to set the staging of their favorite scenes.

Ser2 v1 1816 Furniture plate 2 Chimney Piece
Furniture Plate 2: Chimney Piece of Mona Marble. (Series 2,Vol 1: Jan – June 1816)
Ser2 v1 1816 Furniture plate 8 Curtains Ackermann's Repository
Furniture Plate 8: Drawing Room Window Curtains (Series 2,Vol 1: Jan – June 1816)
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Keeping a Georgian Christmas


Come and unlock the splendour within the finest Georgian town house in England. A classical architectural masterpiece of its age, Fairfax House was originally the winter home of Viscount Fairfax. Its richly decorated interior was designed by York’s most distinguished eighteenth-century architect, John Carr. Extensively adapted in the twentieth century as a cinema and dance hall, Fairfax House was saved from decay and returned to its former glory by York Civic Trust in 1982-84.

Today, Fairfax House once more transports you to the splendour of city-living in Georgian York, the centre of polite society. The superb Noel Terry collection of furniture, clocks, paintings and decorative arts, described by Christie’s as one of the finest private collections of the twentieth century, perfectly complements the house, bringing it to life and creating a special lived-in feeling. Step inside to feel the warmth and splendor enjoyed by the highest echelons of Georgian and Regency society– imagine yourself at home with the Darcy’s, the Bingleys and the Elliots.

The current  exhibition, The Keeping of Christmas (November-December 31, 2011) being held at Fairfax House. provides a wonderful view of Christmas decorating and celebrating as it would have appeared in the time of Jane Austen. With such an array of holiday finery to behold, everywhere from the main rooms and halls down to the kitchen, it’s definitely worth a peek inside. Here are a few of the scenes you’ll find: