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Large carved wood and plaster relief of a gentleman - likely Victorian?

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Victorian Era320 of 2344Hand Brooch with PeachVictorian  glass basket with application
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    Posted 4 years ago

    (48 items)

    Well here is something that I aquired via my work which had been abandoned in an old loft. It is quite large, about two feet high. It appears to be a carved relief of a victorian gentleman which I initially thought was plaster, due to the colour and the plaster behind the card on the back. But it got a bit bashed on extraction and it looks to be wood, so I'm now thinking wood carving covered with gesso and paint. I have no idea if it is someone in particuar but looks quite well done. In serious need of a clean and touching up. I'm thinking it is probably 1880s ish?

    Any thoughts would be great.

    Thanks all

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    1. OlofZ OlofZ, 4 years ago
      Great find! Well, the fashion looks more like a hundred years older. Wig with a pigtail queue, would be much dated already in the 1880's. Like these typical late 1700's wigs:
      So at least I would say the relief profile depicts a man from late 1700's. I doesn't need to be that old though, but it's definitely a possibility.
    2. OlofZ OlofZ, 4 years ago
      Be very gentle with the cleaning and NO touch up!
    3. Hamish Hamish, 4 years ago
      Thank you very much for the info, I would never have known that. To my untrained eye it doesn't look old enough for 1700s but I guess it could have been rehoused in a later frame. The card on the back is much more modern also, and the plaster beneath looks very clean. I wasn't sure if that would indicate something more modern or just that it is covered over so retains a 'new' look.

      So many questions and no idea how to answer them! Oh and the 'touch up' part I should explain. My wife works in the heritage industry and has looked after various collections in trust properties and also a conservator for Tate Modern and Tate Britain in London, and she is also qualified and has previously conducted restoration of artefacts, including a rather rare 17th century Christ statue. So it wouldn't be any old jobsworth doing it!
    4. SpiritBear, 4 years ago
      How it mounts and how it is held (the type of finishing nail used) in America is more typical of after 1900.
    5. scottvez scottvez, 4 years ago
      Agree with spirit-- I would put this in the early 20th century.

    6. Hamish Hamish, 4 years ago
      Thanks for the info. Do you think it could have been put into a later frame? Would it be rather unusual for someone to carve a figure of a 18th century gentleman in the 20th century? Just seemed a strange thing to do.

      I will look at it over the weekend and try to get more info for you lot
    7. OlofZ OlofZ, 4 years ago
      Unless someone made a replica of an existing marble relief by a famous stone carver like James Tassie, e.g. Or made the relief after a painting, mimicking marble.

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