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II-114792
© McCord Museum
Photograph
Livingroom, Mrs. M.H. Gault's house, Montreal, QC, 1896
Wm. Notman & Son
1896, 19th century
Silver salts on glass - Gelatin dry plate process
20 x 25 cm
Purchase from Associated Screen News Ltd.
II-114792
© McCord Museum

Keys to History:

Families and friends not only give presents to celebrate Christmas and other seasonal events, along with weddings and birthdays, but they also commemorate major anniversaries. In Mrs. Gault's elegant living room, sophisticated and valuable gifts are tastefully displayed. Photographs in matching frames, presumably of the happy couple, are set on easels facing the camera. Later they will hang from the picture rails high on the walls. Other gifts, like a set of a dozen knives for cutting meat and an elegant carriage clock, suggest that this household has long since acquired all such basics as a standard dinner service and ordinary mantel clock. Old items are replaced and upgraded with the new and fashionable.

Source : Crowding the Parlour [Web tour], by Jane Cook, McGill University (see Links)

What:

This is a photograph of a living room, or parlour, in which are displayed anniversary presents. The ceiling is plastered with geometric patterns that offset the hexagons on the wallpaper.

Where:

This is a residence in Montreal.

When:

The photograph was taken in April 1896.

Who:

The residence originally belonged to Mrs. M. H. Gault, but is now owned by McGill University.

© Musée McCord Museum