The online private sales site Joss & Main is currently featuring an array of goods under the label “Destination: Salem” and when the notice popped up in my email inbox (I subscribe to far too many of these sites, unfortunately) I was both curious and excited: would there be Federalist McIntire reproductions or would they go the witchy route? Here’s the description of the look book and you can guess for yourselves:
The iconic “Witch City” of Salem, Massachusetts evokes the spellbinding designs of New England’s rich history. Transform your home into a stylish haunt with classic chandeliers and wingback chairs, experience the drama and dark grandeur of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s writings with handsome poster beds, conjure the infamous trials of 1692 with captivating prints and décor, welcome the spirit of commerce with captain’s quarters-worthy consoles, and illuminate All Hallow’s Eve with timeless lanterns and candleholders.
No Samuel McIntire-inspired goods, but it’s not all kitschy witchy either. I’m pretty comfortable with a Salem that conjurs up the image of “dark grandeur” and the “spirit of commerce”. At this time of year, I’ve become resigned to the other stuff. The actual goods seem to be evocative of a more colonial feel, and despite their overt Halloween appeal, I like the black cat andirons and was disappointed when they sold out.
And here are a couple of other “Salem” items among the collection that caught my eye: the “Broad Street” wing chair, the “Salem” Kichler chandelier, and “All Hallow’s Eve” pillows:
There are witchy prints, apothecary jars, cauldron planters, and ye olde Salem lanterns to complete the look, along with lots of Windsor-style furniture. And then there were these two pieces, which confused and charmed me: I can’t quite figure out how the rather glam “Prisca mirror” fits into this scheme, except that it might be the “grandeur” in “dark grandeur”, and I was amazed to see that Salem’s own Nathaniel Bowditch (1773-1838), the eminent mathematician and acknowledged father of modern maritime navigation whose book The New American Practical Navigator (1802) is still carried on every U.S. naval vessel, has also inspired his very own “Bowditch drop-leaf table”. The other Salem Nathaniel, Nathaniel Hawthorne, has one too!