Absolutely Beautiful Large Art Nouveau Bois Durci Photo Frame

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THE STORY - It was the sheer beauty and strength of presence of this frame, that made me know in an instant that I wanted it for my shop. The frame is large approx 9&1/2" in height when standing and has the most wonderful depth of colour to it and then of course it's beautiful form with leaves and berries wrapped liked a wreath around the central oval frame, it has such a beautiful organic form to it, and at first I thought the frame was carved from wood but it is not it is made from a early form of plastic known as Bois Durci. Bois Durci was patented in France in 1856 by Francois Charles Lepage and is made from the combination of blood and powdered wood which was then steam heated and pressed into moulds. His products were sold in Paris, and I believe there was one other factory owned by a different family in Sezanne in France which also created such products but both closed in the 1920s when the use of such plastics as bakelite became more common. It is not possible to know which factory this frame came from but my instinct tells me it is late Victorian dating to circa 1890 as it has a sense of being very Art Nouveau in style. And I have to the say the fine detail of the moulding of the of the frame is lovely, I think done in one mould, the leaves have in high relief the veins running through them, the berries have their natural layers and the entwined branch has in places detail of the pith within and this is especially true at the feet of the frame. And there is a real sense of depth with this frame and that gorgeous colour which one instantly wants to say is black but I wonder at times if it is not the darkest of browns and it has because of it's medium this wonderful soft matt sheen to it.

DATE - Circa 1890

CONDITION - I do want to point out that the photo in the frame is a photocopy which was there when I purchased it, it will be sent with the frame but does not have any monetary value. The frame is in good condition without any chips or cracks that I can see. The glass also has no scratches but as I have mentioned earlier is not perfectly smooth at the edges which as one would expect with the age of the frame. The stand at the back is still strong and so is the ribbon that holds it. The little brass catches of which there are three on the back are somewhat rusted but they do still open and close. And there is some dust on the frame which I have chosen not to remove but to leave that to it's new owner to decide.

DIMENSIONS (Approx) - Height 9&1/2" / 24cm, Width 7&1/2" / 19cm, Depth 1/2" / 1.5cm.

I have to say I love everything about this frame, I love it's shape with those two shaped legs at the bottom I love the pleasing oval form of the frame, I love its colour and yes of course I love the beautifully moulded leaves, berries and branches that are entwined around it. And goodness me do I love the way the light falls upon it highlighting all it's beauty. It really is to me a beautiful item.

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