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Illustrated Guide to Christchurch and Neighbourhood

W. S. King & Co.'s Furniture Warehouse

W. S. King & Co.'s Furniture Warehouse.

This establishment, including factory and warehouse, has a frontage of 35 feet to Lichfield-street (Christchurch), and extends back 156 feet to Bedford Row, where there is the waggon entrance. It is a substantial two-storey brick building, the ceiling of the first floor being 18 feet, and of the floor above 16 feet, high. The show-rooms are filled with furniture for bed-rooms, dining-rooms, drawing-rooms, kitchens, libraries, halls, and in fact all that is required either in a cottage or a mansion. It is impossible, within our limits, to do more than allude to a few of the articles manufactured on the premises, or imported from Europe, Asia, and America, which the visitor is invited to inspect. The carpets, of which there is a large stock of latest novelties from English and Scotch looms, include some very beautiful moresques (a speciality of Morton & Sons, of Kidderminster) and landscape patterns; and in rugs there are some charming old quaint oriental patterns from Japan, Khyber, Tanjore, and Persia, besides a host of the best Glasgow and Kidderminster-ware. The chairs and couches, the upholstering of which is all done on the premises, include the finest Italian walnut frames made at Lake Como, and others from New York, London, and the Continent, besides the ordinary Colonial black wood, cedar, and rimu. Visitors can, if they so please, inspect the workshops, and select the horse-hair, morocco leather, cretonne, velvet, or tapestry reps with which they would like their furniture upholstered; and seeing work in course of progress they may satisfy themselves that it is all done thoroughly well and substantially, so as to stand wear and tear. The bedding, also made on the premises, is of all sorts, to suit various tastes and purses, viz.—feathers, flock, flax, wool, hair, fibre, and kapoc, from Fiji and Java. Bedsteads in brass and iron of all prices, mostly English make, are to be seen in hundreds. Dressing tables in oak, mahogany, walnut, pitch-pine, cedar, and kauri; side-boards in cedar and mahogany; telescope dining tables in walnut and mahogany; billiard tables by English manufacturers; occasional tables of all sorts, shapes, and sizes; office furniture, and in fact all kinds of such goods closely fill page 193the premises. The stock of pianos (English, French, and German) is large and varied. A dining and billiard table combined (three-quarter size), suitable for family use, is an article much admired by ladies. The lighter articles for use and ornament are also to be seen here in great variety. Some hand-painted coal vases are really works of art. In looking-glasses for mantelpieces, of course the æsthetic style predominates just now; Early English patterns, in carved wood, ebonised wood and gold, and some with paintings on dead gold plaques being here in great variety. Glass-ware, both English and German, for the table and ornamental, is displayed in large quantities. Of cane chairs, Austrian, English and American, this firm has probably a greater quantity and larger variety than is to be seen elsewhere. Some of them are most amusing specimens of ingenuity and skill. The "Gem" carriage-chair is one of those. It is shown one moment as a child's chair, a good shake-up makes it take the shape of a table, give it a good swing over one shoulder and it comes down a carrriage, while a little further worrying resolves it into a rocking-chair; and yet, in each phase of its existence, it is firm and reliable. A some-what similar curiosity is the "Jewel" folding-chair, appearing to take, at the will of the exhibitor, the forms of a perambulator, a chair and table, and tall-legged chair. In spite of the apparent intricacy of these chairs, they are really very simple, not easily broken, and easily repaired. There is also a large American rocking-chair, the rockers of which are fixed in grooved slips, in which they move while the slips remain steady, so that the sitter can enjoy the luxury of rocking backwards and forwards without the unpleasant consciousness that he is wearing holes in the carpet—a desideratum every housewife will appreciate. One article for which this firm is the sole agent we must not omit, viz.—vaseline. It would almost be easier to state what this is not used for than what it is. As an ointment it is said to be Invaluable for bruises, burns, sprains, &c. It is made into soap, cold cream, boot and shoe paste, tooth paste; for the use of cooks and confectioners, doctors, harness-makers, bootmakers; to be applied internally or externally—in fact, take it and use it how you will, it never seems out of place. "We must also notice the child's perambulators. These are made on the buggy principle, and fitted with hoods, aprons, curtains, linings of silk, rep, carpet, and morocco, with reversible handles, and good springs. They are far more thoroughly and tastefully finished than have generally been to be seen heretofore in Christchurch.