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Wharton, Edith (1862-1937); Codman Jr., Ogden (1863-1951) / The decoration of houses
(1898)

V: windows,   pp. 64-73


Page 68

68
            The Decoration of Houses
and that there must have been other reasons for not employing
them in windows; while the additional expense could hardly
have been an obstacle in an age when princes and nobles built
with such royal disregard of cost.  The French, always logical
in such matters, having tried the effect of plate-glass, are now
returning to the old fashion of smaller panes; and in many of the
new houses in Paris, where the windows at first contained large
plates of glass, the latter have since been subdivided by a net-
work of narrow mouldings applied to the glass.
 As to the comparative merits of French, or casement, and
sash windows, both arrangements have certain advantages.       In
houses built in the French or Italian style, casement windows
are best adapted to the general treatment ; while the sash-win-
dow is more in keeping in English houses.   Perhaps the best
way of deciding the question is to remember that "les fen~tres
sont intimement li~es aux grandes lignes de l'architecture," and
to conform to the rule suggested by this axiom.
 The two common objections to French windows - that they
are less convenient for ventilation, and that they cannot be opened
without letting in cold air near the floor-are both unfounded.
All properly made French windows have at the top an impost
or stationary part containing small panes, one of which is made
to open, thus affording perfect ventilation without draught.  An-
other expedient, seen in one of the rooms of Mesdames de France
at Versailles, is a small pane in the main part of the window,
opening on hinges of its own.  (For examples of well-designed
French windows, see Plates XXX and XXXI.)
 Sash-windows have the disadvantage of not opening more than
half-way, a serious drawback in our hot summer climate.       It is
often said that French windows cannot be opened wide without


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