Collection Corner. A Trip to New York

Resting on the mantle in the dining room of the Fuller E. Callaway family home, is a wonderful bust of Saint George. St. George was a soldier in the roman army who is well known as the dragon slayer and was later venerated as a Christian martyr. Careful study of some of the old archives has revealed that this bust of St. George has a very unique history.

During November of 1915 Ida Cason Callaway, Neel Reid (the house architect) and Mr. Callaway’s personal secretary, Ab Perry, took a trip to New York City to select furnishings for the new Callaway home. During their trip they visited The Aimone Galleries at Madison and Forty-Fifth Street and made a number of purchases. Many of the original receipts and letters from The Aimone Galleries survive in the Hills & Dales Estate archives.

According to letters and receipts from November and December of 1915 the Callaways purchased a “Terra cotta polychrome bust of San Giorgio.” Upon further research it appears this early 20th century reproduction was modeled after the original Donatello statue from Or San Michele in Florence, Italy, which seems very appropriate given the Italian influence on the architecture of the home.

The Callaways also purchased other furnishings from The Aimone Galleries. These included a custom made credenza and a wonderful framed Madonna and child painting. All of these items, along with the original 1916 dining set purchased on the same trip to New York, are still on display in the Dining Room. The bust of Saint George and the other original furnishings make it one of the best preserved rooms in the Callaway home.