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Antique Carpet Trends in Nashville
Claremont Rug Company has had the privilege of working with many clients in Nashville, Tennessee, since the company’s founding in 1980, helping families build incomparable collections of art-level antique carpets. Many unique architectural styles developed in Nashville during the end of the 19th century and turn of the 20th century. Our Nashville clientele appreciate the experience of pairing our fine art-level Oriental rugs with their architecturally unique homes, whether they own a stunning European-style home in Northumberland, an elegant Oak Hill custom estate home, an iconic Cotswolds-inspired Belle Meade estate, or any style home in between.
Visualizing how your potential carpet choices will look in your home has never been easier with our numerous presentation tools. Claremont Rug Company offers a selection of convenient shopping options even if you do not live in the San Francisco Bay Area. We are local to you – regardless of where you reside.
In our Nashville client’s home pictured above, this painterly mid-19th century Laver Kirman “Garden of Paradise” carpet provides the ideal serene base for this traditional living room of a Southern home. Whether our clients live in Belle Mead, Green Hills, Forest Hills, Oak Hills, Radnor Lake, 12th Ave. South, Belmont-Hillsboro, or The Gulch, they find that searching for an art-level antique rug is a unique buying experience. Many of our clients become interested in antique rug collecting and connoisseurship once they begin living with just one antique carpet.
Our website is the ideal tool to rapidly educate and familiarize yourself with the world of antique Oriental carpets, offering abundant and easy-to-digest information on the numerous carpet styles available to your project. Over 1,000+ of our carpets are available for you to browse online at your leisure, with full-size, color-accurate high resolution images only a click away.
All can be easily sorted by size and carpet type, to make your search eminently manageable. You can organize your choices on your own Wish List that is there for you to return to for up to 3 years. As you explore freely through our gallery, carpets of special interest can be flagged and added to your personalized wish list. As you hone your taste, these wish lists can record your favorites, and can be effortlessly forwarded to a designer, architect, spouse or friend with whom you would like to share.
Above see how our client’s gracious Nashville colonial interior is greatly enlivened by an antique circa 1910 Manchester Kashan rug. Using extraordinarily lustrous merino wool this antique Persian carpet exerts a powerful magnetism to anchor the entire space. It draws the viewer’s eye deep into the exceptionally intricate nuances of its grand botanical medallion composition. Soft cream fabrics, ivory moldings and warm hardwoods are made even more inviting by the counterpoint of the saturated color and shimmering, lanolin-rich wool of this antique Persian rug, a perfect consonant with the antique American furniture and Dutch Delftware vases that adorn the mantle. The richness of the carpet reflects the delicacy and grace of each piece, especially the original, hand-colored lithograph from John Gould’s famed Family of Hummingbirds, a seminal 1849 work from this great Audubon-era bird illustrator. Often times when our clients begin living with just one antique carpet, they find how enlivening the experience of adding an antique art-level carpet can be to a home and develop a growing desire to collect.
Our extensive online Antique Oriental Rug Educational Section is an expansive resource with sections discussing Decorating with Antique Carpets, Collecting and Connoisseurship, a Nine-point Methodology for Determining Quality and Artistry, Main Categories of Antique Carpets, Antique Oriental Rug Care and much more.
Historical Homes and Prominent Architecture in Nashville
2201 West End Ave, Nashville, Tennessee
Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt was in his 79th year when he decided to make the gift that founded Vanderbilt University in the spring of 1873. The $1 million that he gave to endow and build the university was the commodore’s only major philanthropy. Methodist Bishop Holland N. McTyeire of Nashville, husband of Amelia Townsend who was a cousin of the commodore’s young second wife Frank Crawford, went to New York for medical treatment early in 1873 and spent time recovering in the Vanderbilt mansion. He won the commodore’s admiration and support for the project of building a university in the South that would “contribute to strengthening the ties which should exist between all sections of our common country.”
McTyeire chose the site for the campus, supervised the construction of buildings and personally planted many of the trees that today make Vanderbilt a national arboretum. At the outset, the university consisted of one Main Building (now Kirkland Hall), an astronomical observatory and houses for professors. Architectural historians would describe the Vanderbilt campus as an example of the Romantic or organic ethos, with few right angles and lots of curves. And the architecture is primarily medieval in inspiration, with uneven roof lines and textured facades characterizing such early buildings as Kirkland Hall and the Old Gym.
Landon C. Garland was Vanderbilt’s first chancellor, serving from 1875 to 1893. He advised McTyeire in selecting the faculty, arranged the curriculum and set the policies of the university. Vanderbilt’s student enrollment tended to double itself each 25 years during the first century of the university’s history: 307 in the fall of 1875; 754 in 1900; 1,377 in 1925; 3,529 in 1950; 7,034 in 1975. In the fall of 1999 the enrollment was 10,127.
Today, Vanderbilt University is a private research university of about 6,500 undergraduates and 5,300 graduate and professional students. The university comprises 10 schools, a public policy center and The Freedom Forum First Amendment Center. Vanderbilt offers undergraduate programs in the liberal arts and sciences, engineering, music, education and human development as well as a full range of graduate and professional degrees. The university is consistently ranked as one of the nation’s top 20 universities by publications such as U.S. News & World Report, with several programs and disciplines ranking in the top 10.
Belle Meade Plantation
110 Leake Ave. Nashville, Tennessee
Belle Meade Plantation was founded in 1807 by John Harding, the most successful thoroughbred breeder, and distributor the in the State of Tennessee during the 19th century. The Belle Meade Plantation house began life as a two-story Federal-style home, constructed by John Harding in the 1820s. The building originally consisted of red bricks on a limestone foundation and was two-stories in height and one room deep. The house was flanked by two one-story “hyphens,” or wings.
As was the custom at the time, it may be possible that a floor-plan was created and drawn by Williams Giles Harding, and that the architectural details, such as the stone detailing, trim, and mantlepiece details of the home, were created from specifications published in one of many construction pattern books available at the time. This once simple, but refined, country home was stripped to its basic structure and Harding began the process of erecting his residential masterpiece. Today, the mansion stands testament to the high-style Greek-Revival design drafted by its creator, standing sentry over the evolving plantation it has guarded for generations.
1700 Belmont Blvd. Nashville, Tennessee
The Belmont Mansion is the largest house museum in Tennessee and one of the few nineteenth-century homes whose history revolves around the life of a woman.
The moving spirit behind Belmont Mansion is Adelicia Hayes Franklin Acklen Cheatham. She was born on March 15, 1817, into a prominent Nashville family. At the age of 22, Adelicia married her first husband, Isaac Franklin, a wealthy businessman and plantation owner who was 28 years her senior. After seven years of marriage, Isaac Franklin died unexpectedly of a stomach virus while visiting one of his plantations in Louisiana. At his death his estate included: 8,700 acres of cotton plantations in Louisiana; Fairvue, a 2,000-acre farm in Tennessee; more than 50,000 acres of undeveloped land in Texas; stocks and bonds; and 750 slaves. In 1846, at the age of 29, Adelicia Franklin was independently wealthy, worth about $1 million. On May 8, 1849, Adelicia remarried, to Joseph Alexander Smith Acklen, a Mexican War hero and a lawyer from Huntsville, Alabama. Together they built Belmont Mansion (originally named Belle Monte), completing construction in 1853.
Belmont Mansion was built in the style of an Italian villa and was set amidst elaborate gardens. There were numerous outbuildings, including the water tower, which still stands, that provided irrigation for the gardens and supplied water for the fountains. In front of the water tower stood a two-hundred-foot long greenhouse and a conservatory. Also on the grounds were an art gallery, gazebos (still standing today), a bowling alley, a bear house, and a zoo. Adelicia Acklen opened the estate to the citizens of Nashville to enjoy the zoo, as no public zoos existed at the time.
By the 1880s, Adelicia began spending more time in Washington, D.C., often with her only surviving daughter, Pauline. In 1887, Adelicia sold Belmont Mansion to a land development company after she moved to Washington, D.C., permanently. Later that year, she contracted pneumonia while on a shopping trip to New York City, and died in a Fifth Avenue hotel.
Two women from Philadelphia purchased Belmont Mansion and, in 1890, opened a girl’s school. Later merging with Nashville’s Ward Seminary, the school was renamed Ward-Belmont, and became an academy and junior college for women. In 1952, the school again changed ownership, becoming present-day Belmont University. Today, Belmont University is a coeducational, liberal arts school offering bachelor and graduate degrees.
Grassmere Historic Home in the Nashville Zoo
3777 Nolensville Pike, Nashville, Tennessee
The home was built by Col. Michael C. Dunn and was completed around 1810, making it the second oldest residence in Davidson County that is open to the public. It was built in the Federal style, or without the ornate front and back porches it has now. Michael Dunn’s son-in-law, Lee Shute, purchased the farm for $10,000 in 1846. Several years later, Lee sold the 346-acre property to his son, William Dickson Shute, for the sum of $5, as “a loving gift” to William and his new bride, Lavinia.
William and Lavinia had four surviving adult daughters: Leila, Maggie, Venie and Kate. Kate married her husband, William Croft, at Grassmere in 1888 and had two daughters, Margaret, born in 1889, and Elise, born in 1894. William Croft moved his family to Cuba in 1902 for business, but Margaret and Elise returned to Grassmere every summer to stay with their grandfather and aunts. In 1931, Margaret and Elise returned to Grassmere and stayed until their deaths: Margaret in 1974, Elise in 1985.
In 1964, the Croft sisters entered into an agreement with the Children’s Museum of Nashville (now the Adventure Science Center). The agreement stated the museum would pay property taxes and assist with the upkeep of the home while the sisters lived the remainder of their lives at Grassmere. After their deaths, the museum would become owners of the property and buildings. The sisters placed one stipulation in their agreement with the museum – their property would be maintained as a “nature study center,” preserved to educate Nashvillians about animals and the environment.
Nashville Zoo began management of the Grassmere property in December 1996. In 1998, the Zoo partnered with the Metro Historical Commission and the Metro Parks Department to restore the house. The Grassmere Historic Home opened to visitors for the first time in spring 1998. In 1999, the Grassmere Historic Farm opened, including a livestock barn, pastures, chicken coop and machine shed.
4580 Rachel’s Lane, Nashville, Tennessee
After they married, Andrew Jackson and Rachel first lived in the Nashville area. Eventually, he bought a farm named Poplar Grove where he and Rachel resided from 1792-1796. Afterward, they moved to a 640-acre plantation on the Cumberland River called Hunter’s Hill. They inhabited this property until 1804.
Throughout this time, the resourceful Jackson continued to practice law and took on many endeavors such as land speculation, a general store and various other joint ventures. One such partnership failed miserably forcing Jackson to sell Hunter’s Hill in order to avoid bankruptcy. On July 5, 1804, he purchased a smaller property from his neighbor, Nathaniel Hays. This 425-acre farm would become The Hermitage.
Soon after moving to The Hermitage, Jackson established a new riverfront enterprise at nearby Clover Bottom on the Stones River. Here he operated a general store, a tavern and tracks for racing thoroughbred horses.
Ultimately, Jackson quit his Superior Court judgeship to focus on The Hermitage and his Clover Bottom enterprises. He added land and slaves to his Hermitage operations in the coming years.
The original structure of The Hermitage mansion was a brick, Federal-style house constructed between 1819 and 1821 by skilled carpenters and masons from the local area. During Jackson’s presidency, the mansion underwent a major renovation directed by architect David Morrison. In 1831, Morrison dramatically redesigned the mansion by adjoining flanking one-story wings, a two-story front portico with ten Doric columns, a small rear portico and copper gutters.
The new wings bordered the east and west sides of the home. The east wing housed a library and a farm office. A large dining room and pantry comprised the west wing. A newer kitchen and a smokehouse were also added behind the 13-room mansion. Morrison’s remodeling gave the house a Classical appearance.
In the fall of 1834, a fire heavily damaged the house. Architects Joseph Reiff and William C. Hume, oversaw the rebuilding. Taken from the in vogue design pattern-book of New England architect Asher Benjamin, this style gave a more fashionable appearance.
In this redesign, the entrance façade to the Hermitage was transformed into a fashionable Greek temple by adding six, two-story columns with modified Corinthian capitals across the front porch. Similar columns with Doric capitals supported a two-story porch on the back entrance. They added light tan paint on the wood structures of front façade and sand coating on the columns and trim to simulate the appearance of stone.
Union Station Hotel
1001 Broadway, Nashville, Tennessee
Walking through the doors of Nashville’s historic Union Station Hotel is like taking a step back to a time when travel was not a necessity, but a luxury. Originally built in 1900, the building’s imposing Gothic design with its turrets and towers was a testament to the US ingenuity and energy. Union Station was a marvel of the (then) modern day, surprising and delighting travelers for decades with ornate wood carvings, sparkling stained glass, beautiful Italian marble and soaring ceilings.
Fast forward nearly 100 years, and Union Station was in need of some new life and energy. In 1986 Union Station began its new life as a luxury hotel and fall 2016 saw the completion of a $15.5 million renovation that paid homage to the building’s rich history while re-invigorating it with luxurious modern touches that perfectly combine the history what Nashville has been and what the vibrancy of what Music City has become today.
See a 1,000+ piece inventory of our current collection of antique art rugs.
CLICK HERE >>