Sunday, 27 April 2008

Every room needs a little black

Among the many inventions of modern times for diffusing the luxuries, and even the conveniences of life, there are few which have greater claims to our admiration than paper mache. Whether it meets the eye in the shape of furniture, or in articles of domestic utility, its beauty and agreeableness are equally striking and effective. Nor is it less so when applied to ornamental purposes - The World In Its Workshops, by James Ward, 1851.

Victorian papier mache chair with painted, gilded, and mother of pearl decoration.

English mid-19th century Étagère,
Black lacquered, painted, and gilded wood and papier mache inlaid with mother-of-pearl.

Superb Ex French Exhibition Victorian (1840-1860) papier mache tilt top table, the shaped oval top finely worked in inlay stained and painted mother of pearl in the form of a basket of flowers, pierced shaped apron with gilt decoration.

A Victorian papier mache and mother of pearl tilt top occasional table.

A Victorian black lacquer and gilt decorated octagonal papier mache work table, circa 1870, incorporating mother of pearl decoration.

The technique for making papier mache can be traced back to the 2nd century AD in China.
The process for making papier mache furniture was achieved either by pasting multiple layers of paper over shaped cores, or by pressing paper pulp between dies or molds to form a variety of shapes. Once dried, the resulting raw material could be carved and polished. Papier mache was intended to be japanned and inlaid with mother-of-pearl, glass, or stones.

Now playing: Frank Sinatra - That Old Black Magic
via FoxyTunes


An Aesthete's Lament said...

You have made me very happy, HOBAC. I have loved papier-mâché since I was a child, when it seemed so weird and magical. I still love it, and it still feels weird and magical. I long to decorate a bedroom entirely with it, using it against red-and-white mattress-ticking walls. Make my day again, please!

the House of Beauty and Culture said...

Yes, magical that is the best way to describe it.
I just may have to borrow that idea AL...

Be the change..... said...

I have heard of this paper mache victorian furniture before but never seen pictures of it pointed out as such. So THATS what that is (light bulb) -so charming and beautiful. I love anything with black!

Cote de Texas said...

gorgeous and to die to for! my favorite = I'll take them all, thank you very much!