La Salle Dore’ – Door With A View

I visited la Salle or Salon Dore’ at the Legion of Honor Museum in San Francisco when it was just reopened after a newly refitted for a seismic area. The room is a re-creation of an elegant French neoclassical interior architecture. At the time I was remodeling an upscale home in the very same French style. The hinges of the doors in this room reminded me of the same ancient door hinges I had seen in my grandmother’s home and in many ancient homes of regular blokes I visited when I was a child.

The hinges allowed the doors to open away from the frame and lay flat on the walls, giving more space to the ladies wearing a panier dress to pass through without going sideways. That’s what women wore in the 1700s. One can see the full door opened in the rectangular photo (click on the photo to see it larger).
This hinge also allowed the owner of the mansion to see how many guests were in the salon without really being seen. My lovely vane grandmother did the same thing, she wanted to be fully prepared to receive her guests and peeped through the half-open door hinge. She came out when the room was full of people.

A very special door hinge at La Salle Dore’

A Bit of History
During the reign of Louis XVI, the rooms’ style in patrician mansions reflected the grandeur of ancient Rome. Evoking the great exploits of Imperial Rome with giant gilded Corinthian pilasters, tall arched mirrors, trophies of war and love was the way to convey a higher social status of the owner.

Salle or Salon Dore’ Photo: Legion Of Honor

The Salle Dore’ is a historical room that passed hands many times since 1795. Its boiserie (wood paneling) beautified the rooms of many world noble elite, notable business people and bankers, from the Hôtel de la Trémoille in Paris to Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild’s mansion in England, to Mr. Rheem in Burlingame, California until finally arrived in San Francisco at the Legion of Honor Museum and re-created in its full original beauty.

My client ended up decorating one of the rooms in her home sort of like this Salon with bergères, and a canapé upholstered in blue and white silk, armchairs and console tables against the walls. The hinges….?
I had to wrack my brain to find a blacksmith who could reproduce the very same style, nothing less, or my head would have come down.
This is my entry for Thursday Doors challenge, hosted by Dan Antion. Ciao,
Amazon Author’s Page

Copyright © 2022 Valentina Cirasola, All Rights Reserved

Valentina Cirasola is an interior-fashion consultant, author of 6 published books, a storyteller, and a blogger of many years. Her books are non-fictional practical ideas to apply in the home, fashion, cooking and travel.
Get a copy of her books here: Amazon and Barnes&Noble


9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. robertawrites235681907
    Mar 04, 2022 @ 12:42:15

    HI Valentina, what an interesting history you have shared about this hinge. A great post.



  2. Rebecca Budd
    Feb 24, 2022 @ 19:22:51

    I learn something new every time I stop by for a visit at your place, Valentina. I also enjoy following your YouTube channel.



  3. Dan Antion
    Feb 24, 2022 @ 14:59:32

    These are beautiful rooms/doors and hinges. Finding a blacksmith to reproduce the hinges is above and beyond the call of duty. I’m guessing your clients love working with you.

    Liked by 2 people


    • Valentina
      Feb 24, 2022 @ 16:39:13

      Dan, these days craftsmen are rare, finding an old fashion blacksmith was a real challenge and when I did he was so happy to do a job like that he had not done in many years. Thanks for the comment.

      Liked by 2 people


  4. Mabel Kwong
    Feb 24, 2022 @ 09:19:04

    The La Salle Dore looks marvellous, Valentina. So lovely you got to visit and at the time you were remodeling with this style. The door hinges sound so practical back then, especially seeing how many people were in the salon so you can look out for your guests. Good work on the remodeling for your client. It sounded like a challenging job but you were very passionate about it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person


    • Valentina
      Feb 24, 2022 @ 16:31:32

      La Salle Dore’ is an amazing installation, totally faithful to the original room of the 1700s.. The project I had with that client was very good for my portfolio, not so good for my stress, but we got through it and everybody was happy in the end.Thanks for the visit and the comment.

      Liked by 1 person


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