A rare Austrian patinated bronze iron maiden, circa 1910,…
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A rare Austrian patinated bronze iron maiden, circa 1910, opening to reveal an ormolu nude maiden to the interior, marked 'Titze', 'Made in Austria' to the base, 26 cm high. Provenance: 'The Dr. Sean Tedders Collection,' Elder Fine Art, Adelaide, 21 March 2010, lot 205

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  • 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.
  • 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.

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