The roofs and gables of a country house may be designed in many different ways, and some of their principal varieties may be seen on reference to the accompanying little sketches.
Fig. 1 is a high-pitched gable, with verge-board. [Sarah E. Mitchell: Verge-boards were most often used in the Pointed Gothic style, though Vaux tended to use them wherever he wished.]
Fig. 2 shows a similar gable hipped back, which entirely alters its character. The eaves may be curved, as here shown, if preferred.
Fig. 3 shows a gable of flatter pitch, with cantilevers. [Sarah E. Mitchell: This style is frequently featured in Italian Villa and Bracketed styles, though decorative brackets are often applied rather than cantilevers.]
Fig. 4, a corresponding gable, with pendant finish.
Fig. 5, a curved gable, with pendant finish.
Fig. 6, a roof with a single convex curve.
Fig. 7, a concave curve.
Fig. 8, an ogee curve;
and Fig. 9 another form of ogee curve.
The vignette [above] shows a method of altering a common and awkward looking form of cottage roof that is very easy of execution, and has been found, in practice, to add much to the light and shade, and general picturesque character of an old house. [Sarah E. Mitchell: The roof shape on the left is called "Dutch Colonial," and Vaux altered it to a "gable hipped back" design. By the 1920's, the Dutch Colonial shape was once again quite popular.]
Text by Calvert Vaux, Villas and Cottages. A series of Designs Prepared for Execution in the United States, Harper & Brothers, Publishers, New York, 1857, pp. 90-91, and 210; unless noted by Sarah E. Mitchell. Sketches are from Calvert Vaux, Villas and Cottages. A series of Designs Prepared for Execution in the United States, Harper & Brothers, Publishers, New York, 1857, pp. 90-91, and p. 210; Digital Editing by Sarah E. Mitchell.
Copyright © 2002 Sarah E. Mitchell