Collections on Display
Desk and Bookcase
This mahogany and pine set was made about 1780-1800 in Newburyport, and passed down from Ebenezer Little to his great-grandchildren, who left the house to Historic New England. The Little family cut off the pediment of the case in order to accommodate the low ceilings of this house. At some point the feet were also replaced.
Mahogany Dining Table
The Little family was quite large in at the end of the nineteenth century – thirteen people at its zenith. Even after the family declined in size, they continued to entertain guests around this massive table. This was originally two separate Empire style tables (c. 1830), but they were joined and extended with two leaves c. 1900 to accommodate the large family.
This oak cradle passed down in the Little family, and was made either for the first Little child born in this country (Sarah, 1652), or for her nephew John, born in 1680. It was made by the Jacques family, either father Henry, or son Stephen, depending on the date, and the design is consistent with either builder. It is considered one of the finest examples of seventeenth-century Newbury-made furniture in existence.
When outfitting their new living room in Victorian style, the Little family combined pieces that they had inherited with furnishings ordered from catalogs, suggesting that they valued comfort as highly as style. These chairs were purchased for seven dollars from the Cambridge Haymarket warehouse of Beal & Hooper on November 16, 1874, and were kept in this room near the front entry so they could be used for recreation outdoors as well as for extra seating in the house.
This eighteenth-century looking glass, a family heirloom, was well over a century old when the Little family moved into this house, and was displayed with its worn gilded surface and frame. It was placed in its traditional position between two windows. When the family wallpapered this room, they also papered the back of the looking glass, presumably to protect their new paper from its rough plank back. The wallpaper currently hung in the Living Room vignette was reproduced from the back of the looking glass.