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Curtain Hardware...Jewelry for Your Windows

          Call me crazy, but when I pull back these curtains each morning, time stops for a moment. 
These mid- 19th century French chateau hold backs, wearing their original gilt, and the French antique hand tatted ruched sheers are two of my favorite treasures. So often I wonder who else pulled back curtains with these hold backs and what was their life like?

By the beginning of the 19th century more people were beginning to afford elaborate curtains and the American South, like France, was no exception. Beautiful hold backs were needed to keep back the yards and yards of silk, linen or cotton that hung over windows  that were often in rooms with 22 ft. ceilings. The hold backs, or as some call them, tie backs, actually originated in England before catching the fancy of the French.

Curtain Pins, (also known as Cloak Pins )  were basically wrought iron spikes with decorative medallions and were in use in the 18th century. Such a pity that Marie Antoinette did not get to see some of the beautiful curtain hardware that the 19th century would produce she would have loved them.

Opalescent  glass hold backs like this one were popular in  the 1830's.

Versus this bronze Art Deco one from the 1930's.                          
Hold back bands like these enamel and brass ones from 1st Dibs,

were meant to be hung vertically or horizontally, but never at an angle like mine which are actually attached to the window frame with an ornate swivel. When antiquing, the way to identify whether they are real or later reproductions is to tap the metal. Old ones are always hollow. Don't use anything to clean them other than a feather duster, cleaning will in time, remove the gilded finish or lacquer depending on your type of holdback,
If you haven't shopped for antique holdbacks,you should consider it, as they add both period flavor and beauty to your windows. 

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