Southern Interiors of Charleston South Carolina by Samuel Chamberlain and Narcissa Chamberlain circa 1956
High-ceilinged drawing rooms with crystal chandeliers and damask hangings, mahogany sideboards glistening with family silver, formal gardens and broad verandas - these are the hallmarks of Charleston... (from the Forward)
If you haven't yet had the chance to visit the beautiful city of Charleston, South Carolina this vintage interiors book will give you a glimpse inside the homes of some of the city's most showstopping houses.
Published in 1956 by husband-and-wife photography/writer team, Samuel and Narcissa Chamberlain, this oversized coffee table book focuses on the interior design of fifty-one Charleston houses, each accompanied by brief histories and interesting design details.
When this book debuted, many of the houses featured here were available for tours. Today though, not all of them are open to the public, which affords readers now a special peek behind the closed doors of private residences. Architects will marvel at the distinguished fireplace mantels, the curved staircases and the ornate moldings. Decorators will love studying the eclectic mix-and-match arrangements of different design periods representing the 18th-20th centuries. And antique lovers will delight in admiring the beautiful objects that adorn each page.
All Southerners love a good story, and while this is mostly a photography book, there are little tidbits of fascinating stories that spark additional conversation or research on each page.
As for the authors, Samuel and Narcissa, they are a fascinating pair as well. Living both in the US and abroad, their travels and ex-pat lifestyle helped develop numerous artistic loves in the culinary, photography and interior design fields. Samuel was a well-known photographer and Narcissa, a writer, cookbook author, and decorator.
Here in the Vintage Kitchen, we were first introduced to the Chamberlains through the adventures of their delightful, funny and quirky French cook, Clementine, whom we wrote about on the blog here. A unique combination of enigmatic talent both individually and together as a family, the Chamberlains (Mom, Dad, kids and cook) all contained a joie de vivre that was infectious when it came to their creative projects. Sam and Narcissa's love for their subject of beautiful Charleston and the city's gorgeous houses can be seen on each page.
Photo of Samuel and Narcissa courtesy of MIT Museum.
- 1956 edition
- 172 pages
- Black and white photographs throughout
In lovely vintage condition. This book contains its original dust jacket which is completely intact but has some chippy areas and wrinkled areas along the top and bottom edge. Both the bright pea-green coverboards and the interior pages are in great shape - bright and clean - with no marks, tanning or folded corners.
Measures 12.5" inches (length) x 9.5" inches (with) x .75" inches (thickness) and weighs 2.5lbs.