Books for Display


H. F. du Pont designed each period room in his home to display antique furnishings, including books, of a particular period, region, or design. He carefully considered each piece in a room to ensure that it contributed to the overall harmony and theme. He also regularly changed and refined the furnishings, including the books, when he found better examples.

Consider the Vauxhall Room…


H. F. du Pont installed paneling, fireplaces, and other architectural elements from historic structures in his period rooms. The Vauxhall Room was relocated from a house built in Greenwich, New Jersey, about 1725. In addition to the historic woodwork, the room, as installed at Winterthur, featured Philadelphia furniture and seasonal floral bouquets. To complement these furnishings, du Pont exhibited books that related to the region, style, and period of the room.

P20 Vauxhall Room-Winterthur Library Revealed

Vauxhall Room
Photographed by Robert Brost
Winterthur, Delaware; 1938
Colored stereopticon
P20 Winterthur Archives

HF507 room list p.1-Winterthur Library RevealedList of Books now in the rooms
Winterthur, Delaware; April 25, 1940
HF507 Winterthur Archives
[See full list, with Vauxhall Room on page 1 and Empire Parlor (below) on page 2.]

NA2515 P16 F 1716-Winterthur Library Revealed



The First Book of Architecture
By Andrea Palladio, printed for Eben Tracy
London, England; 1716
NA2515 P16 F 1716 Printed Book and Periodical Collection


SB450 F64-Winterthur Library Revealed



The Flower Garden Display’d
By Robert Furber, printed for J. Hazard et al.
London, England; 1732
Hand-colored engraving
SB450 F64 Printed Book and Periodical Collection



F152 P41s-Winterthur Library Revealed



Some Account of the Province of Pennsilvania
By William Penn, printed by B. Clark
London, England; 1681
F152 P41 S Printed Book and Periodical Collection





Consider the Empire Parlor…


Designed to showcase Empire-style furniture (from the period 1810–40), the Empire Parlor at Winterthur was furnished to suggest the amusements that might have been pursued by a wealthy family of that time. In addition to the risqué Hints to Men about Town and a playful children’s book illustrating the alphabet in French, the room featured Orme’s Essay on Transparent Prints, a beautifully illustrated manual describing the fabrication of prints used as parlor games.

P20 Empire Parlor-Winterthur Library Revealed

Empire Parlor
Photographed by Robert Brost
Winterthur, Delaware; 1935
Colored stereopticon
P20 Winterthur Archives

RC200.2 H66s-Winterthur Library Revealed




Hints to Men about Town
By a Sporting Surgeon, printed by H. Smith
London, England; about 1830
Hand-colored engraving
RC200.2 H66 S Printed Book and Periodical Collection





PC2115 P48s-Winterthur Library Revealed


Petit Abécédaire Amusant
Printed by M. Carey et fils
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; 1819
PC2115 P48 S Printed Book and Periodical Collection

NE735 O73F-Winterthur Library Revealed

Essay on Transparent Prints
By Edward Orme, printed for the author
London, England; 1807
Hand-colored engravings
NE375 O73 F Printed Book and Periodical Collection

This book provides examples and instructions for making transparent prints using watercolor and varnish. When lit from the back, these images exhibit depth and realism.  Making and viewing such prints was a popular form of entertainment in the early 1800s.

Related Themes: