French ormolu fire screen, decorated with wreaths and swags and framed by slender flaming torches
swag / garland / festoon. A popular neo-classical form of decoration in decorative art consisting of a pendant garland made up of flowers, fruit and leaves, and found on all types of objects from furniture to ceramics and clocks, and in many materials from bronze to wood.
Common themes included in swags are husks, chains, hops, and laurel leaves.
ormolu. Ormolu was popular with French craftsmen in the 18th and 19th century for ornamental fittings for furniture, clocks and other decorative items. True ormolu is gilt bronze, that is bronze that has been coated with gold using a mercury amalgam. Due to the health risks associated with using mercury, this method of creating ormolu was discontinued in France in the 1830s. A substitute was developed consisting of about 75% copper and 25% zinc, however it was inferior to the bronze version. It was often lacquered to prevent it tarnishing.
The buyers premium is an additional percentage charge on the hammer price of the item, imposed by the auction house to cover administrative costs. The buyers premium percentage varies between auction houses, with a range of 12.5% to 22%.