One of my favorite things we did, when Ceekay was here, was visit the Flagler Museum in Palm Beach. It was the home of Florida developer Henry Flagler, built for his much younger bride, Mary Lily, in 1902 as a wedding present.
And what a wedding present!!
According to the brochure, the mansion had over 75 rooms. I guess they lost count after 75!
I thought I would have to give Ceekay smelling salts before we even got inside when she spotted this solid marble bench - one of many.
When we finally made it through the front doors we entered the Grand Hall.
There was a lot to take in! The Grand Hall, alone, is 5,000 square feet. It was designed to be the largest and grandest of any room in a Gilded Age private home. I think they succeeded.
The Grand Hall's ceiling depicts the Oracle of Delphi imparting Apollo's message of divine inspiration through arts and literature.
There were two ceiling paintings flanking the central dome too. They depict dawn and dusk.
I think we were both about to pass out trying to take it all in! On to another room!
The Drawing Room was used as a gathering place for music and conversation by Mary Lily and her female guests.
Aluminum leaf highlights the plaster ornaments in the room. For much of the Gilded Age, the process of extracting aluminum economically had not yet been perfected and as a result, aluminum was more expensive and precious than gold.
Even the piano had to be adorned.
The Dining Room was designed in the French Renaissance style, reminiscent of a royal hunting lodge. The Flaglers entertained large parties in this room for lengthy, elegant dinners.
I loved the ornate cast plaster ceiling. The wall coverings are green silk.
The fireplace mantle incorporates elaborately carved culinary references such as shells, crabs, and fruit.
The Breakfast Room is just off the Dining Room. Besides breakfast, the Flaglers also used the room for more intimate meals. Servants had direct access to the room through doors connecting the butler's pantry and kitchen area.
I think I've almost maxed my picture quota for one blog - and I've just begun. I haven't even left the ground floor yet! I'll blog again in a couple days and continue the tour of Whitehall Mansion.
By the way - did I mention this was only one of the Flagler's winter residences?