My old house obsession just got majorly fed. I found a Maine lovely with an 1800 build date, complete with 9-over-6 windows and original stenciling. Color me stoked!
The stenciling is thought to be inspired by Moses Eaton. He, and his son Moses, Jr., were renowned Early American stencilers in the late 1700s-early 1800s. Examples of their work still survive and are icons of Early American home decor. Seeing as Moses, Jr. did go into Maine during his career, I wonder if the work could be his after all?
Back in the day, the wallpapers the rich enjoyed were out of reach for poorer households. So, they did like they do now…DIY their way to a sexier home! This meant floor treatments (i.e. oilcloths, handmade rugs, paint, etc.) and stenciled or muraled walls. Paint could still be expensive but smaller designs, rather than full coverage, made it doable.
Not everyone had the skill to do a righteous stencil job. When possible, it got hired out to folks like the Eatons. And, if you couldn’t tell already, I’m a Moses Eaton fan. My ebay wishlist is full of Eaton-inspired stencil patterns. Once my house and budget is ready for my decor plans (some ugly paneling to replace with drywall), my living room will feature some stencilwork along the doorways, wainscotting, and ceiling beams. Worry not…when I get there, I will post pics!
This Circa home is pretty close to a time capsule home, in my opinion. Suits me fine…they’re my favorite kind of old house. When you can feel the history just from the pictures, you know it’s something special. If you’re an old house junkie like me, you’ll definitely appreciate the original cook hearth, woodwork and (yes) the stenciling.