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Edwardian Interiors: The Ballroom

dance cardFrom Party-giving on Every Scale:

To commence with one of these minor expenses, but an all-important one in its way, the floor of a ball-room. The drawing-rooms or drawing-room of a house is, in town, the room usually converted into a ball-room, save in those stately mansions which boast of an especial ball-room or picture-gallery of noble proportions, wherein these festive entertainments are held; in these handsome apartments the flooring is kept in a highly-polished condition, and only requires a little extra polishing on the occasion of a ball being given. The flooring of many a London drawingroom now also presents a polished surface, parquet flooring being so much in vogue; but an ordinary flooring, even in those houses that are of recent build requires to be thoroughly put in order by the aid of a carpenter, all the unevennesses of the surface to be planed, and the boards prepared for polishing. The cost of this is simply the workman’s time, which may be either three days or three hours according to the size of the rooms and the condition of the boards.

…With regard to the number of seats placed in a ball-room, if the room is a very spacious one, it is usual to place settees or rout-seats around the walls and in the recesses of the windows and in other available spots.
When the accommodation of a house admits of it it is usual to fit up one smaller room as a drawingroom; but when dancing takes place in both drawing-rooms, and there is no third room at command, then an extra number of rout-seats are provided in the ball-room, on the landings, and in the tea-room.

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4 thoughts on “Edwardian Interiors: The Ballroom”

  1. Old etiquette books are such a lively way of getting a peek into a world that was, even though it may be discussed in terms of the ideal. Very much enjoying, too, the pictures you have been suppling with these posts. The intimate scale of some of the ballrooms is not something you readily get an idea of through regency romances, for example – “crush” takes on a vivid meaning, though!

    1. It really does! Particularly when we see modern movies with these large ballrooms and automatically assume those in London townhouses were of a similar scale. Just thinking about a “crush” is overwhelming (and hot!).

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