Furniture, Lighting, & Textiles

The furniture in the collections range from the 16th to the 20th century and include examples of British, American, and Continental origin. Among the highlights are an eighteenth-century Philadelphia high chest, an elaborate French orbital clock by Jean Baptiste Baillon, and a massive sixteenth-century refectory table. Although many pieces are associated with known makers, this is an area in the collections that requires further research.

The period sconces and chandeliers that illuminate the Rosenbach were conserved in 2002-2003 during the museum’s restoration and expansion project. These fixtures range in period from the early 19th to the early 20th century. They originally provided light from candles, gas, and electricity, and are fashioned of crystal and a variety of plated and alloyed metals. Portable lighting devices are also represented in the collections, from Argand lamps to a ruby glass candelabra, to candlesticks in a range of media.

The textiles in the collection include Rosenbach family table linens–most dating to the 19th century-which are changed regularly along with place settings in the museum’s dining room. Tapestries; needlework that appears in the form of pillows, furniture upholstery, and screens; as well as clothing that is contained, for the most part, in the Marianne Moore collection, are also included in this medium.

Collection Highlights

Desk and bookcase

Chalk inscriptions on the back of the bookcase portion of this Philadelphia-made desk and bookcase provides a snapshot of its manufacture: "Made in 1815/Making 2/Stuf 4.87/Lock & hinges 1.75/Handles .25/ 2/ & 3 $4.87/Repaird 1831." The desk was made for a woman, Rachel Gratz Moses, and descended to her son…

Textile Panel

Author, artist, manufacturer, political activist, and more, William Morris preferred to describe his profession as “designer.”  Reacting against the Industrial Revolution’s proliferation of ugly, inferior goods and, worse, its dehumanization of work, Morris believed the purpose of design was “to give people pleasure in the things they must perforce use [and]…

Two Yellin Chandeliers

Two Yellin wrought-iron chandeliers. Each features bulb fixtures alternating with fantastic animal heads with rings in their mouths.

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