The Lincolns knew Bowen’s reputation as a reformer because they read his newspaper The Independent. Mary Todd was the subscriber, but Abraham said he read it every week. Bowen was familiar with Lincoln because he had represented Bowen’s business in legal matters in the west, and because of the Lincoln-Douglas debates. Bowen would later write that he believed Lincoln had “a brilliant political future of great value to the Republican Party.” This engraving, The Lincoln Family in 1861, belonged to the Bowens and now hangs in the conservatory at Roseland Cottage.
A dumbwaiter was included in the china closet so that food could easily be sent from the kitchen upstairs to the night nursery where the three Eustis children took many of their meals.
The Painting Process
First, it’s primed with a lead-based primer.
Next, it is painted with a metallic paint, in this case silver.
Then, it’s covered in a layer of shellac that is saturated with flakes of base metals. These metals that give it that Gilded Age look.
Finally, it’s installed, and painted again, in this case, to highlight the relief. It is the tarnishing of the metalic powers in the third layer that caused the Lincrusta to lose its gilded look.
Shellac with metal flakes
Installed and painted again
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