French bronze sculpture of a hurdy gurdy player, by Debut, circa 1900s, with copper patina, the cartouche to the base reads 'Joueur de Vielle par Debut, prix de Rome', 34.5 cm high
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- Cartouche - An ornamental panel in the form of of a shield, oval or rectangular scroll with curling edges. It may be carved into the back of a chair or the top of a sideboard, or present on a piece of silver or jewellery, and contain the initials of the original owner, heraldic symbols, or some other inscription, such as the details of a presentation.
In ceramics the term defines the central area of a vase or similar with a decorative border in one of the shapes above, into which a decorative scene or figures have been painted.
- Bronze - An alloy of copper and tin, traditionally in the proportions of about 9 parts of copper to 1 part of tin.
The discovery of bronze in Western Asia in the 4th century enabled people to create metal objects which were superior to those previoulsy possible because of its strength and hardness, and it has been used throughout the world for weapons, coins, tools, statuary and other decorative items.
It is very fluid in a molten state, and its hardness, strength when set, and non-corrosive properties makes it most suitable for casting sculpture.
- Patination / Patina - In broad terms, patination refers to the exterior surface appearance of the timber, the effect of fading caused by exposure to sunlight and air over the course of a century or more, changing the piece to a soft, mellow colour.
As patina is very difficult to replicate, it is one of the most important guides to determining the age of furniture.
Patina is also the term applied to the bloom or film found on old bronzes due to oxidisation.
- Circa - A Latin term meaning 'about', often used in the antique trade to give an approximate date for the piece, usually considered to be five years on either side of the circa year. Thus, circa 1900 means the piece was made about 1900, probably between 1895 and 1905. The expression is sometimes abbreviated to c.1900.
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