Antique Set 19 Grand Tour Plaster Framed Portrait Medallions C1840

Antique Set 19 Grand Tour Plaster Framed Portrait Medallions C1840

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About this item

A superb Grand Tour collection of nineteen cast plaster cameo portrait medallions within a birdseye maple veneered glazed frame, C 1840 in date.
Theres no mistaking the unique quality and history of these intaglios and they are assured to lend your home a touch of prestige.

Condition:

In excellent condition having been beautifully cleaned in our workshops, please see photos for confirmation.

Dimensions in cm:

Height 24 x Width 28 x Depth 4

Dimensions in inches:

Height 9 inches x Width 11 inches x Depth 2 inches

Intaglios - were originally used as seals, these carvings or cuttings are moulded out of white plaster, marble dust or wax. The original 19th century intaglios were also made from wood or stone. The depressed designs depicting ancient scenes from Greece, Italy, etc were also used as markers of the land. They were also collected as souvenirs from European Grand Tours in 1830.

The Grand Tour was the traditional trip of Europe undertaken by mainly upper-class European young men of means. The custom flourished from about 1660 until the advent of large-scale rail transit in the 1840s, and was associated with a standard itinerary.

It served as an educational rite of passage. Though primarily associated with the British nobility and wealthy landed gentry, similar trips were made by wealthy young men of Protestant Northern European nations on the Continent, and from the second half of the 18th century some South American, U.S., and other overseas youth joined in. The tradition was extended to include more of the middle class after rail and steamship travel made the journey less of a burden.

The primary value of the Grand Tour, it was believed, lay in the exposure both to the cultural legacy of classical antiquity and the Renaissance, and to the aristocratic and fashionably polite society of the European continent. In addition, it provided the only opportunity to view specific works of art, and possibly the only chance to hear certain music. A grand tour could last from several months to several years. It was commonly undertaken in the company of a knowledgeable guide or tutor.

The Grand Tour not only provided a liberal education but allowed those who could afford it the opportunity to buy things otherwise unavailable at home, and it thus increased participants' prestige and standing. Grand Tourists would return with crates of art, books, pictures, sculpture, and items of culture, which would be displayed in libraries, cabinets, gardens, and drawing rooms, as well as the galleries built purposely for their display; The Grand Tour became a symbol of wealth and freedom.

Birdseye Maple
occurs primarily in Sugar Maple and is a very hard wood with divergent grain structure caused by the presence of the Birdseyes.

In the days when all furniture was made essentially by hand, Birdseye Maple was used by only the most capable cabinetmakers. These artisans had developed the tools and skills to work and finish Birdseye Maple successfully. Antique furniture made out of Birdseye Maple is rare and beautiful.

The divergent grain that makes Birdseye Maple beautiful also makes it difficult to work. Early woodworking machines ran at low rpms and had only 2 knives per cutterhead. This often produced Birdseye surfaces that were chipped and torn. It took many hours of hand planing and scraping to get these surfaces to a high sheen.

This limited the use of Birdseye maple to projects whose value could justify the extra labour cost. Examples of this are fine furniture and musical instruments.

Dimensions

W28.0 x H24.0 x D4.0 cm

Condition

Used

Date of manufacture

Unknown

Period

19th Century

Style

Antique

Seller

VAT status

Seller is VAT registered

SKU

84987555
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