These images are part of a photograph album kept by Chrisenberry Alexander Ritchie (1879-1962). He was born in Salisbury, North Carolina and he came to the Lowcountry to attend the Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, which was then located in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina. This was circa 1901, and his images corroborate this as he captured the construction of the South Carolina Inter-State and West Indian Exposition, as well as the event itself, held in Charleston from December 1901 through May 1902. Ritchie also photographed a number of other “everyday” Charleston scenes - fortunately for us as many of these scenes no longer exist. Ritchie went on to become the Pastor of the Redeemer Lutheran Church in Binghamton, New York, from 1905 through 1949, marrying and raising his family there.

  1. The Sappho - ferry that ran between Mount Pleasant and Charleston, circa 1901
  2. Custom House, 200 East Bay Street, circa 1901
  3. Cotton Palace and Sunken Gardens at the Exposition, taken at night showing the electric lights, circa 1901
  4. Aerial view of Colonial Lake from the vicinity of the intersection of Rutledge and Beaufain, circa 1901
  5. The Liberty Bell while on loan from Philadelphia for the Exposition, 1902.
  6. Steeplechase at the Isle of Palms, circa 1901


EPHEMERA FRIDAY: Each Friday we post a selection or small collection from the Charleston Museum Archives. Some items may be on exhibit, some may be too fragile to display and some may be too unusual to fit into our typical Lowcountry exhibit themes. We will occasionally ask for help identifying people or places in photographs that have come to us with little or no information. We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on EPHEMERA FRIDAY.

Revolving pistol
Phillipe Selier Desellier
Belgium
1710-1720

Not only among the earliest small arms in The Charleston Museum’s weaponry collection, this flintlock pistol is also one of its more remarkable. Besides its decorative coin-silver furniture and detailed engravings, this weapon exhibits an early revolver-type mechanism. Equipped with a pivoting forward stock, tandem barrels, frizzens and flash pans, the shooter can, after firing a first shot, depress the spur on the outer side of the trigger guard and with the other hand, turn the barrels over to ready another round.

Although popular versions of revolving firearms emerge in earnest in the 1830s, inventors had been tinkering with rotating barrel concepts since the 17th century striving to move past the drawback of single-shot firearms (meaning shooters had to stop and reload their gun after each individual shot). Although adding extra barrels seemed logical, it made for heavy weapons, and no matter the number of barrels on gun, its user was still going to have to load each barrel individually gaining no real measureable firing efficiency. Only after innovations in self-contained cartridge technology did revolving and rotating guns come into their own as efficient and reliable weapons.

Weaponry Wednesday: Each Wednesday we post an object (or group of objects) from the Charleston Museum’s diverse weapons collection. Many Weaponry Wednesday items may be on permanent exhibit in our armory or elsewhere in the museum, but some pieces rarely see exhibition, temporary or permanent, but are well worth sharing.  We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on WEAPONRY WEDNESDAY! Also, we always want to learn more about our collection - if you have some insights on a piece, please feel free to share!  #WeaponryWednes

Trophy of Arms chintz appliqué quilt top, c. 1830, made by Hannah Noland Henderson
The center medallion for this quilt, also referred to as Hunt Cornucopia, was a popular motif in the South Carolina Lowcountry. This museum has three with this same center. This unfinished top has no batting, backing or binding. Hannah (1816-1890) was the daughter of William Noland; she married Thomas Harden Henderson. The piece descended through her daughter to her great-great-great grandsons, the donors. It is a new acquisition for the museum and was donated earlier this year by William Rutherford Trumble & Fitz Trumble.

It relates to two other quilts in the collection, both with this same center medallion. It is interesting to see how the same fabric was used in different ways by earlier Charleston quilters. In the quilt from Joseph D. Aiken in 1994, the Trophy of Arms medallion is surrounded by an array of game birds and two floral borders. It has thin cotton batting, muslin backing and woven tape binding and dates to about 1825.

This third quilt descended in the Vaux-Read family of Charleston and perhaps tells us the most about the original chintz fabric. In this quilt, the maker did not cut out and appliqué the individual motifs, but cut and reorganized the original fabric. You can see the original format of the center medallion (the same as Hannah Henderson’s) and you can see that the scroll encircling the Aiken medallion originally encircled a huge bouquet of flowers which was cut in two in the Read quilt. The borders are all different. Chintz was extremely popular here; quiltmakers apparently had lots of examples to use. The fabulous Read quilt was given to the Museum in 1988 by Benjamin Huger Read and Anne K. Read on behalf of the family of William Bond Read and Rachel Biddle Wood Read.

The first two quilts are on exhibit in Quintessential Quilts until October 13, 2013.

TEXTILE TUESDAYS: Each Tuesday we post a piece from the Charleston Museum’s textile collection.  Some items have been on exhibit, some will eventually be shown in our Historic Textiles Gallery and some may be just too fragile to display. We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on TEXTILE TUESDAY! #TextileTuesday

The daguerreotypes and carte-de-viste of the Manigault Family were given to the Charleston Museum by Miss Joanna Stewart Jenkins, a great-great granddaughter of Charles Manigault through his son Louis. Charles Izard Manigault (1795-1874) married Elizabeth Heyward (1808-1877), daughter of Nathaniel Heyward, on April 7, 1825 and together had seven children. They owned several rice plantations including Gowrie and East Hermitage on Argyle Island in Georgia, Marshlands on the Cooper River, near Charleston and Silk Hope in Berkeley County, South Carolina.

  1. Charles Heyward Manigault (1826-1856) firstborn child of Charles and Elizabeth Heyward Manigault. Image was taken in 1853 at the request of his brother, Louis. MS. note included with image: A very good likeness of my Brother Who had it taken for me in Charleston on the 31st October 1853. – L.M.
  2. Louis Manigault (1828-1899) at age 22.  The carte de visite was taken at the studio of F.A. Nowell located at 263 King Street, Charleston, South Carolina.
  3. Nathaniel Heyward (1766-1851) father of Elizabeth Heyward Manigault. Image was taken in 1845 at the request of his son-in-law, Charles. MS. note included with image: Nathaniel Heyward Esqre, father of Mrs. Charles Manigault.  Died 10th of April 1851, Aged 85 years
  4. Charles Izard Manigault (1795-1874).  Image was taken in 1856.
  5. Louis Manigault’s son, Louis (1858-1906) with Captain.  Image was taken in 1860. MS. note included with image: Taken in Charleston, 16th July 1860.  Louis & Captain, his servant
  6. Captain Hector, a favorite slave of Louis Manigault, worked on the Gowrie Plantation located on Argyle Island in Georgia.  Image taken in 1861 at the request of Louis with the particular items to represent Hector’s job as the plantation’s chief boat hand and mail carrier. MS. label on image: From being of a most happy and cheerful disposition, prior to the war, this man became dull and low spirited when freedom came, and finding himself no longer with a master to care for him.  Though alive, in 1880, yet his existence appears to be a wretched one.  In this picture I had him taken with his paddle in one hand, and a newspaper in the other, with the Gowrie plantation mailbag over his shoulder.  [At bottom] “Hector,” Gowrie post boy.  Taken in Savannah, Ga. April 23, 1861.

Click to see Charles Izard Manigault’s vests from a previous posting. Gabriel Manigault, father of Charles Izard Manigault (image #4), designed the Museum’s Joseph Manigault House (1803).

EPHEMERA FRIDAY: Each Friday we post a selection or small collection from the Charleston Museum Archives. Some items may be on exhibit, some may be too fragile to display and some may be too unusual to fit into our typical Lowcountry exhibit themes. We will occasionally ask for help identifying people or places in photographs that have come to us with little or no information. We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on EPHEMERA FRIDAY.

Tusk–handled swords
Unmarked
Siam (now Thailand)
1870-1890

Although a horrific looking pair, these notably large swords are completely impractical for combat. Likely they were used instead as ceremonial, presentation or perhaps decorative weaponry within the royal palace in Bangkok.  Each weighing in at a burdensome 22 pounds and measuring over 6 feet long, they are unwieldy as they are heavy and bulky. The lower half of an elephant’s tusk makes up the handle, its girth too large to grip effectively by an average sized person. Furthermore, unsharpened blades and lack of personalization on each one indicate some sort of ornamental decoration.

Born in Charleston on September 21, 1854, Dr. Thomas Heyward Hays was chief of Bangkok’s Royal Thai Navy Hospital beginning in 1886 and eventually served as the consulting physician to Siam’s Royal Court. These edged weapons are but a small part of his extensive collecting in Southeast Asia, most of which he donated to the Charleston Museum in 1924. He died on February 2, 1954, at age 99, and is buried in the Bangkok Protestant Cemetery.

Weaponry Wednesday: Each Wednesday we post an object (or group of objects) from the Charleston Museum’s diverse weapons collection. Many Weaponry Wednesday items may be on permanent exhibit in our armory or elsewhere in the museum, but some pieces rarely see exhibition, temporary or permanent, but are well worth sharing.  We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on WEAPONRY WEDNESDAY! Also, we always want to learn more about our collection - if you have some insights on a piece, please feel free to share!  #WeaponryWednes

These two “paisley” vests belonged to Charles Manigault (1795-1874), probably c. 1840. One shows a fairly traditional boteh pattern and is printed while the other is woven with an elaborate repetition of “exotic” temples. The paisley one has corded edging and pocket openings; the temple vest has a woven tape binding on the edges and pockets. The paisley example has covered buttons, the temple one has 8 small brass buttons.

Manigault was a wealthy land owner, rice planter and merchant. He traveled widely, especially in France and was very cosmopolitan. He even spoke French at home on occasion. In 1825 he married Elizabeth Manigault Heyward. One of his sons, Gabriel Edward (1833-1899), was curator of the Charleston Museum in the 1870s. Both of these vests came to the museum from direct descendants. The paisley one from Emma Manigault Jenkins Gribbin (a great-granddaughter through Charles’ son, Louis) in 1945. The temple one from Joanna Stewart Jenkins (a great-great granddaughter also through Louis) in 1982.

Manigault’s printed paisley vest is currently on exhibit in Positively Paisley in our Historic Textiles Gallery, now through January 5, 2014.

Throughout the 19th century, the boteh motif (now known as paisley) was extremely popular. The earliest shawls were brought back from Kashmir and India, but were soon copied and expanded upon in France, England and Scotland. It seems that everyone had to have something “paisley.” After 1805, the weavers in Paisley, Scotland essentially took over shawl weaving, hence the wonderful Middle Eastern patterns became known as paisley.

Islamic designs were traditionally non-representational, but in the West the aesthetic demand was for exoticism. In addition to the boteh or pine motif, imaginative designs included temples, animals and people.

Shawl printing was an art form in Norwich, England. They usually used block prints for shawls, and roller prints for dress and clothing fabrics from the 1830s.  Paisley designs were printed to imitate the woven goods. In 1858 it took a week to weave a shawl; 20-30 shawls could be printed in one week.

TEXTILE TUESDAYS: Each Tuesday we post a piece from the Charleston Museum’s textile collection.  Some items have been on exhibit, some will eventually be shown in our Historic Textiles Gallery and some may be just too fragile to display. We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on TEXTILE TUESDAY! #TextileTuesday

All of these images are identified on the reverse as being of the Schutzenfest (Marksman’s Festival) in 1903.  The photographer is believed to be M.B. Paine.  Originally identified as various locations (Hampton Park, The Oaks in Berkeley County, etc.), on-going research seems to confirm that this is Belvidere Plantation on the “neck” in Charleston County.  The Country Club of Charleston purchased the property in 1901, and developed a 9-hole golf course there, refurbishing the house as their Clubhouse.  The golf images we also have in the collection were very helpful in determining that these images matched those (existing structures, topography, etc.).  In 1926, the Country Club moved from Belvidere to McLeod Plantation (on James Island) and Standard Oil purchased this property.  The house sat untouched and deteriorated until 1941 when it was torn down.   Unfortunately, there is not much information about the Schutzenfest in general or, more specifically, the Charleston Schutzenfest.  We know it was a Marksman’s Festival, held annually in the Spring.  While it is no longer held here in Charleston, or the Lowcountry, it is still held every summer in Erhardt, South Carolina.  

Click to view a hat and belt from Schutzenfest, as well as a target rifle made for the event.

EPHEMERA FRIDAY: Each Friday we post a selection or small collection from our Archives. Some items may be on exhibit, some may be too fragile to display and some may be too unusual to fit into our typical Lowcountry exhibit themes. We will occasionally ask for help identifying people or places in photographs that have come to us with little or no information. We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on EPHEMERA FRIDAY.

Target Rifle
John Henry Happoldt
Charleston
1855

Made for Charleston’s annual Schutzenfest (or “marksman’s festival), this took place in the late spring in the northern part of town near the Washington Race Course. Cancelled during the Civil War years, it was later revived by the German Rifle Club in 1868. This particularly heavy rifle (23.5 pounds) is elegantly made to reflect the fanfare and style associated with the German-founded festival. Scrolled brass work, a tube foresight and an unusual ivory handled bullet starter (for muzzle loading a tight-fitting ball down the bore) were all luxurious furnishings to target pieces. Furthermore, the massive octagonal barrel is three times heavier than an average sporting rifle barrel. The thick, dense steel would reduce vibration upon discharge and keep its bullet on a truer flight path. 

John Michael Happoldt founded what would become a prolific Charleston gunsmithing business in the early 1820s. First located at the corner of Cumberland and Meeting Streets, he later trained and employed his two sons, John Henry and Benjamin George Happoldt in the trade. Eventually, John Michael’s oldest son, John Henry, took over the family business. John Henry moved the business to 153 Meeting Street and then over to State Street, advertising all manner of personal and sporting firearms from derringers to shotguns being available at his shop. In the 1850s, the Happoldts further advertised they were capable of making breechloaders. Just before the Civil War, John Henry partnered with another Charleston gunsmith named J.P. Murray. These two renamed the business “Happoldt and Murray” and operated in Charleston for only a short time before moving to Columbus, GA.

See other items from Charleston’s annual Schutzenfest

Weaponry Wednesday: Each Wednesday we post an object (or group of objects) from the Charleston Museum’s diverse weapons collection. Many Weaponry Wednesday items may be on permanent exhibit in our armory or elsewhere in the museum, but some pieces rarely see exhibition, temporary or permanent, but are well worth sharing.  We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on WEAPONRY WEDNESDAY! Also, we always want to learn more about our collection - if you have some insights on a piece, please feel free to share!  #WeaponryWednes

These little white satin wedding slippers were worn by Maria Willard Grayson, the daughter of Hon. Williams J. Grayson, at the time of her marriage to Dr. Thomas Louis Ogier in 1833. They are very stylish for the period, being square toed slippers with long silk ribbons to tie around the ankle and a tiny ribbon bow on the vamp opening. The flat sole is thin leather. They were made as straights, but one is marked “Droit” for the right. This marking, including ”Gauche” for left, is often seen in early shoes. They are also marked in ink “M. W. O / 1833” for the original owner. Her granddaughter Julia Lynah McCoy, gave the shoes to the Charleston Museum in 1937.

In the early 1800s, women abandoned high-heeled shoes and began to wear less embellished leather or silk slippers. These remained fashionable until the middle of the 19th century. Our pair bears a label from the shoemaker, Esté / M. Cordonnier, Tient Msin de Souliers / de Femmes et Enfans, &c / Rue de la Paix No 13. / Près celle revue St. Augustin / Paris.”

Esté was a well-known shoemaker or cordonnier in Paris, as early as 1821. The Esté (and later Viault Esté ) are the most commonly seen labels in museum collections.  By 1838, Viault either bought into or married into the business and the label became Viault Esté.

While it is possible that Marian purchased these shoes in Paris, they might have been imported to Charleston, a bustling city with an array of fashionable shoe establishments.

TEXTILE TUESDAYS: Each Tuesday we post a piece from the Charleston Museum’s textile collection.  Some items have been on exhibit, some will eventually be shown in our Historic Textiles Gallery and some may be just too fragile to display. We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on TEXTILE TUESDAY! #TextileTuesday

These images of the Joseph Manigault House - now owned and operated by the Charleston Museum - were given to the Museum, in 1994, by the daughter-in-law of Paul Rea, director of the Charleston Museum from 1903 through 1920. The house was, at that time, known as the Riggs House and was a boarding house. These images provide a rare glimpse into a specific time period of a treasured landmark and we are happy to be able to share them!

For more information about the Reas’ connection to the Joseph Manigault House, as well as a look at this Adam-style house through the pastel drawings of  Alice Ravenel Huger Smith, click here.

  1. View of the Gate Temple, a garden folly, from the second floor piazza of the Joseph Manigault House.
  2. Street view of the Gate Temple as taken from Ashmead Place
  3. View of the south side of the house
  4. Street view of the west side as taken from Meeting Street
  5. Street view of the north side of the house as taken from John Street
  6. View of the cantilevered staircase and north entrance in the Joseph Manigault House.
  7. View of the east side of the house from the roof of the carriage house. The shed in the lower left corner of the photograph is likely the shed that was attached to the stables.

EPHEMERA FRIDAY: Each Friday we post a selection or small collection from our Archives. Some items may be on exhibit, some may be too fragile to display and some may be too unusual to fit into our typical Lowcountry exhibit themes. We will occasionally ask for help identifying people or places in photographs that have come to us with little or no information. We hope you enjoy our selection each week – do let us know if there’s something in particular you’d like to see on EPHEMERA FRIDAY.