The Antiquary at Home

Between 1789 and 1851 antiquarianism blossomed. One of its more notable manifestations was the creation of "Romantic interiors," rooms, houses even occasionally churches, which expressed the dynamic relationship with the past that characterized the period. In these spaces the personality of the creator was expressed through objects. Past and present were elided and rearranged for imaginative effect. Though not unknown, in the earlier eighteenth century such creations were rare; by the mid-nineteenth century the Romantic interior was an accepted style of interior decoration. This article considers some examples.