Exiting the hall to the west (right) beneath a stone vault, one enters a square room lined with books and crowned with a circular dome, from which hangs a crystal and gilt metal chandelier. Many of the books shown were acquired when the house was first occupied. One section of the wall contains facsimiles of bookbindings, concealing the shallow closet which once contained Mr. Phipps’ Stradivarius and Guarnerius violins (located on the left, south wall as you enter the room from the front hall).

The room's cohesive design is exemplified in the symmetry, and ornamentation featuring classical imagery--satyrs and river gods decorate the fireplace, while Dionysus/Bacchus watches over the room from the east doorway.

While Jay and Dita resided in England during much of the construction phase Crawley kept them apprised of the progress on their new home by letter. In early 1907 Crawley wrote about this room " ... when the cases are full of nice books [it] will be one of the cosiest ever and

I think you and your wife will use that room more than all the others."

Fine Art

  • Mrs. John S. Phipps, Simon Elwes (English, 1902-1975)
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