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( 15 ) South
Parlour: The fire-screen in the south parlor is a cross stitch pattern of a
The screens were adjustable to the height of the ladies' faces and were meant
to protect their pale and delicate complexions from the heat of the fire. A
pale complexion denoted a lady of leisure and hence wealth as only the working
class women had colour to their skin because of working outside in the hot sun
or over a fireplace while doing kitchen work.
At an even earlier time women and men sought to disguise pock marks on their
faces by applying wax and powder to their faces. Sitting in the direct heat of
the fire could cause the wax to melt. The fire-screens were not only important
for their beauty but for the above mentioned functions.
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