The Victorian Catalogue by Dorothy Bosomworth

The Victorian Catalogue by Dorothy Bosomworth – Of Household Goods: A Complete Compendium Of Over Five Thousand Items To Furnish And Decorate The Victorian Home. I was at the Hall I’m volunteering when a colleague brought in this book from the Hall’s library. I was told that I can take the book home with me to have a look and I couldn’t pass this chance. It looked interesting when I’ve seen only a couple of pages and I was curious to see more.

The Victorian Catalogue by Dorothy Bosomworth

I picked 16 pictures of items from the book to show as highlights on the blog. It was very difficult to do that, since there are 5,000 items in total in the book. This must be a great resource for any historical fiction author or for people that, like me, are volunteering in a stately home, filled with Victorian items. It’s nice to know the story of at least some of the items that are on display as visitors might ask about when they are given a tour. There aren’t lots of details in the book, but it’s a good starting point.

0152 The Victorian Catalogue by Dorothy Bosomworth

These are, from top left to bottom right:
– Silver plated fruit stand with a glass dish, height 12 inches. I’ve seen plenty of these while visiting stately homes;
– Toast rack and butter dish, silver plated, height 6 3/4 inches;
– Mechanical piece under a glass dome. The ship moves up and down the water and the mill’s wheel revolves as well. The figure turns the hand-wheel and so bags of flour ascend with the lift and go into the room at the top of the house. The miller comes with a bag on his back and the door closes after him. It had two songs. Height 26 inches with 24 inches in length. It is very striking;
– Glasses or eye preservers as they were called in Victorian times;
– Fern case. On the same page there were terrariums and aquariums available as well;
– Water filter, one of a few available. There were several layers of filtering materials. The filter looks complex and quite impressive;
– Tea & Water & Coffee urn, made out of copper;
– Travelling tent, in the activity and outdoors section. There are a few other tents for other activities;
– Washing, Wringing, and Mangling Machine combined. It had self-adjusting levers and it must have been incredibly helpful at that time;
– Hookah with three stems, amber mouthpieces, silver plated mounts;
– Stanhope Phaeton, one of a few on sale. It had spring door at back, cushions, lamps, and break. It had a door and step at back, making it easier to climb in, than in the ordinary Stanhope;
– Revolver;
– Silk Plush Folding Photograph Screen for 22 pictures;
– Waterproof bathing cap;
– Toy Schooner. Length from 20 inches to 36 inches;
– The “Club” Tandem. In its description it says that it is impossible to tilt. Another feature is that there is a bit more space between riders.

I think it is amazing to have a catalogue with items so varied, from guns to toys and from brushes to Phaetons. I enjoyed browsing through the catalogue and discovered things I would have never imagined were available in the Victorian era, like the bathing cap.

The Victorian Catalogue by Dorothy Bosomworth

Details about the picture: –
My rating: 5/5 Stars
Would I recommend it: Yes
Published by: Studio Edns
Year it was published: 1992
Format: Hardcover
Genre(s): History
Pages: 328

About the author: Dorothy Bosomworth studied history of art, architecture, and design at Glasgow University. She also studied at Edinburgh and in London. Bosomworth has written, researched, and lectured on interior design.
Another book by Dorothy Bosomworth is The Encyclopedia of Patterns and Motifs.
Website & Social Media Links: –

2 thoughts on “The Victorian Catalogue by Dorothy Bosomworth”

  • What a fascinating catalogue! I enjoyed looking at your choices. The tea and coffee urn is my favourite.

  • This looks fascinating. It reminds me of the replica 1897 Sears & Roebuck Catalogue that I have.

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