Learn about Papier Mache

A substance made by combining mashed paper with glue and other hardening agents, so that, when dry, it can be cut, shaped and even carved. Invented in the 18th century, papier mache was at first used for small items such as snuffboxes and fans. With an improvement in techniques, it was used in the second quarter of the 19th century for a variety of household furnishings chairs, small tables, fire screens, coal scuttles, trays, inkstands and so on. It was frequently gilded and painted with flowers, fruits and rather sentimental scenes, and commonly inset with mother-of-pearl to achieve a jewelled effect. Given the apparently flimsy nature of the material, it is surprising just how many papier mache pieces have survived. The best known manufacturer of papier mache was the Birmingham and London firm of Jennens and Bettridge, whose name is stamped on the underside of items manufactured by them. Because most papier mache furniture was finished in the currently unfashionable colour of black, its popularity and consequently is value has been constrained. If the finish is scuffed, the painted decoration worn or the edges damaged, the value is further decreased
3 item(s) found:

These items are not for sale and the descriptions, images and prices are for reference purposes only.

A fine quality gilt-wood over-mantel mirror, English, circa 1830 the anthemion decorated frieze flanked by cinquefoils, the backboard bearing the trade label of 'Buchan & Sons, / House Decorators, / and Wholesale Glass Factors, / 159 High St. Southampton.

Pair of papier mache hand screens, the rectangular lobed body, centred with mother of pearl inlay, featuring the 1851 Exhibition Buildings and varieties of people of all nations in its foreground, on turned wood handle, with original gilt traces overall le

A mid 19th century Victorian sewing cabinet with painted and gilded decoration to the papier mache, comprising three drawers, doors and rising lid with an enchanting dogs portrait c1860-9 inches x 8 inches x 10 inches high