I told myself that I wasn't going to do very much decorating this year, but found myself with a tabletop tree (see previous post) and garland on the mantel. The later was sourced from a Christmas tree stand a few blocks away: so really, all I had to do was tie it up via exists screws, and bring some gilded pine cones and faux cranberry branches out of storage. All in all, that took me about 15 minutes to execute from start to finish.
The leftover branches found their way to frames, which makes for a very Victorian-styled Christmas; fitting perhaps, since the building was erected in 1895—the whole street of interconnected houses popping up in one fell swoop as I understand it.
The gilt mirror dates from around 1850, and has been in the apartment since the 1950's, while the framed "green man" is 18th century—or so I was told. And yes, that's a green velvet curtain which separates the alcove kitchen from the main living area. You can see an antique china cabinet in the reflection, which is topped by a few old serving trays which I plan to restore, their current finish being beyond repair, but handy when a serving tray is needed.
My mother's Seth Thomas is on the mantel, along with silver candlesticks which will receive a shining over the weekend, and a framed letter by Manuel García—a legendary voice teacher, who wrote this particular one on his 100th birthday in 1905.