Many of us here at Lehman’s enjoy the ragingly popular “Downton Abbey” series. And maybe it’s our trained eyes, but when we see something on the set that could be straight out of our store, we get a little excited. As some of you know, Lehman’s has become sort of a “one-stop shopping” destination for many film crews and set designers, especially for period pieces like “Downton Abbey.” And while it would take quite a bit of digging to find out if any of the things we spot came directly from us, we still like to point them out – “Hey, that’s just like the one we carry!”
If you’d like to bring a little bit of Downton to your home, you may be interested in some of the things we’ve noticed on the show. Read on…
Mrs. Patmore’s Kitchen:
Kitchen Tools– Trusty pottery mixing bowls, pitchers, stoneware crocks, wooden spoons and rolling pins get a daily workout in Mrs. Padmore’s kitchen. And the little salt pig is never far out of reach; Mrs. Patmore prides herself on the perfect seasoning!
Hand-operated kitchen appliances are used daily, too – such as meat grinders, butter churns and coffee grinders. It’s amazing the sort of satisfaction we get today when using one of these time-tested tools! There really is something special about doing something with your own two hands.
If you look closely, larger items such as copper kettles and 5-gallon crocks can also be spotted on Mrs. Patmore’s shelves; these would have been used less frequently to make big batches of foods for preserving, or dishes for large events like the Granthams’ Garden Parties.
In the House – Upstairs and Downstairs:
Posh Pillows and Bedding– Lady Mary and Lady Edith – and some of the staff as well probably enjoy the luxury of soft, warm down pillows, comforters and featherbeds. That big house has to get chilly at night!
Cleaning- For meticulous cleaning of priceless valuables of the family of an Earl, maids used only the finest natural materials (especially on those delicate chandeliers). Ostrich feathers were popular, as well as lamb’s wool, both of which contain tiny natural fibers that act as a magnet for dust and dirt. And flour sack towels were indispensable for cleaning and polishing everything from copper pots to the fine silverware.
Gas Lights- The earlier seasons of Downton Abbey saw the household and staff using wall- and ceiling-mounted gas lights. With the arrival of electricity into the house, these old-time Edison lightbulbs could have been common.
On the Estate and In the Village:
Canes– A walk around the grounds or a trip to the village would require one of these smart horse hame canes for any gentleman, from Carson to Lord Grantham. Tenant Farmer Drewe may find these livestock canes more suited to his line of work.
Bells– Shop Keeper’s bells like this one would have made a familiar ring to Carson, Mrs. Hughes or any of the staff when they solicited the shops in the village. These bells are smaller and more suited to a shop, unlike those on the vast wall of bells shown in the opening credits.
So the next time you’re enjoying an episode of “Downton Abbey,” see if you can spot the things we’ve mentioned. And let us know if you see any more!