A Room for Repose
The majestic homes of Trenton’s West State Street witnessed changing styles of furniture
“A room intended for repose ought to contain nothing which can fatigue the eye by complexity”
– Charles Eastlake
The style of this bedstead and bureau represent a significant development in furniture design. Named for British architect Charles Eastlake, the so-called Eastlake style marked a movement away from over-the-top decoration common to earlier Victorian styles. Popular from 1880 until 1900, the Eastlake style favored geometric shapes over scrolling curves, flat surfaces emphasizing wood grains over heavily-carved ones, and simple decorations over ostentatious ornament that might distract the eye. The result was a cleaner design and ultimately a more affordable style of furniture.
This bedroom set came from one of Trenton’s landmark buildings. Located at 204 West State Street and facing the New Jersey State Museum, the “Pride of the Lions” earned its nickname for the two decorative terracotta lions that flank its center entrance. In 1885, Ferdinand Roebling hired famed New Jersey architect William A. Poland to build it as an investment property. It was one of many structures on West State Street owned by the Roebling family.