Furnishings and Artifacts
Although no photographs remain of the Stone House’s interior, when its walls and rooms were adorned with artwork, inventories completed both before and shortly after Mr. Deering’s death document the house’s contents. These inventories list hundreds of antiques, rugs, tapestries, brocades, sculptures, prints, paintings, etchings, drawings and other art objects that Deering collected during his lifetime.
According to the 1927 inventory:
- Chinoiserie and Chippendale furniture were abundant throughout both houses.
- More than a dozen sculptures by St. Gaudens and other artists, as well as several paintings, greeted guests entering the house.
- 15 paintings by John Singer Sargent, 13 by Anders Zorn, 3 Goyas, 3 Mancinis, 2 Boldinis, 2 Casas, 2 Homers, and a Degas, were among works displayed in the Great Room.
- Stained glass, antique Spanish mirrors, and Zorn paintings adorned the staircases.
- Works by various other artists hung in the library, bedrooms, study, and even the bathrooms.
- The artwork in Charles Deering’s bedroom included two pieces he painted himself – one of his father-in-law and one of his stepmother.
Today, the interior of the Stone House features:
- New paint in the original 1922 color scheme – earthy red, gold, ebony, and ivory;
- Original flooring in unglazed variegated Spanish tile throughout the house, cement tiles in the Great Room, and stained concrete upstairs;
- Coffered, groined, and beamed ceilings of reinforced concrete and plaster stained to imitate wood and in the tradition of historic Mediterranean architecture;
- Original wood core, copper clad interior doors;
- Antique chandeliers and wall sconces;
- The original Otis elevator cab; and
- Restored, original bathroom fixtures.
The Great Room features:
- Restored 16th century, polychrome iron gates, brought by Deering from Spain;
- A restored and repainted coffered ceiling, with inset medallions featuring nature images;
- Two, late 18th or early 19th century Renaissance, bronze and crystal chandeliers;
- A 16th century Italian, Sansovino style, stone mantel purchased by James Deering from a New York antiques dealer;
- Ramon Casas, Ash Wednesday Procession in Barcelona hangs in the room in its original location.
In the library:
- Suspended from the ceiling is the house’s only original chandelier. It is described as early 20th century, Spanish Gothic Revival style, gilt-metal, with twelve lights and medieval style figures;
- Deering’s own paintings of his father-in-law, William Dennison Whipple (Brevet Major General, U.S. Army) and his stepmother, Clara Cummings Hamilton;
- New cabinetry contains some of Deering’s original books including classic fiction by Cervantes, Chaucer, Dickens, Hawthorne, Kipling, and, Melville, to name a few, and volumes on world history and geography; and
- Reproduction table and chairs.
In the cellar:
- A new stairway allows public access to the enlarged basement area;
- A hinged shelving unit and the original Diebold Volt Door (sealed in 1945 and reopened in 1985);
- New shelving houses the original, but empty, bottles.
- A collection of decorative ironwork from Charles Deering’s Collection
- Several portraits, pencil sketches, and photographs are displayed;
- Two small, 19th century scrolling benches, with their original leather, decorate his bedroom.
- A small, antique marble fountain peeks out from between the south side hedges;
- A bronze relief plaque, fashioned in Barcelona and presented to Charles Deering in 1916 by the Village of Sitges, proclaims him as the town’s adopted son. The plaque stands, affixed to the wall that faces the Bay, outside the Great Room; and
- Two late 19th/early 20th century, bronze verde standards also stand in the downstairs, Bay side loggia.
Since the Estate’s reopening in 1999, Charles Deering’s descendents have contributed artwork and antiques (some appraised by Christie’s of New York) to the Deering Estate Foundation. Beverly Bledsoe Danielson (wife of Deering’s grandson, James Deering Danielson) and Jocelyn Tennille (Deering’s great-granddaughter) donated important items that were original to the house or part of the Charles Deering Collection. In turn, the Foundation donated these, along with newly purchased antiques, reproductions, and modern furnishings, to the Estate.
For more information on how to support our community’s treasure, please contact the Deering Estate Foundation at 305-235-1668 ext. 263.