The Chesterton Mantel

The Chestertown Room at the Winterthur Museum & Country Estate originated in Chestertown, Maryland, circa 1790. It is an exceptional interior, carefully composed, with richly carved details. The room reflects late Georgian style architecture and includes Adamesque and exotic motifs popularized in pattern books such as William Pain’s The Practical Builder, published in London in 1774. The Chestertown Room is a sophisticated room full of graceful details. Immediately elegant and comfortable, it demonstrates the power of good design.

Chesterton Mantel

The mantel is the centerpiece of this room. A tall fluted frieze and overlaid serpentine pattern articulate the mantelpiece. A crossetted frame adorned with flowers (right) and a broken pediment form the overmantel. The inspiration for the mantel likely came from William Pain’s pattern book, The Practical Builder. The room’s mantel and room composition are also similar to Plate 23 in Volume II of Abraham Swan’s Designs in Architecture, published in London in 1757.

chestertown-room-winterthur

Present-Day Reproduction

We created two mantels inspired by the one in the Chestertown Room at Winterthur. Each mantel was designed and crafted using the proper proportion, paint color and overall style for the rooms they were built for.

Chestertown-Myers_9344a

Chestertown-Myers_9153

The mantel below was built for a residence in Fort Worth, TX. It is smaller in proportion to the original in the Chestertown Room, and instead of using tiles to outline the fireplace we opted for marble. The black paint on the mantel extends in the chair rail that wraps around the perimeter of the room, making the mantel the focal point of the space.

chestertown-mantel-p

Below, this mantel was built for a show home in Fort Worth. It is closer in size to the Chestertown Room mantel but is painted entirely white. Interior design of this room by Joseph Minton.

chestertown-mantel-show-home

By drawing from the past, we have been able to make timeless mantels that transform living spaces. Although both of these mantels were inspired by the same ideas, we were able to use their variables to make each one unique.

More on the Chestertown Room, and all rooms at the Winterthur Museum, may be found in Winterthur Style Sourcebook: Traditional American Rooms.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment