Plaster cornicing and coving
Cornicing is the moulding that runs around the top corner of an internal or external wall. It can also be called a coving if it is an internal decoration that consists of a simple concaved form. Batton strips were nailed to the wall and mouldings were built up through many plaster layers.
According to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition. 2000, a cornice can be a "horizontal molded projection that crowns or completes a building or wall," or the "molding at the top of the walls of a room, between the walls and ceiling." Primo Plasterers
Period cornices ranging in date from 1862 through to paint schemes of the 1970s on historic cornices shows that the colours became progressively paler, from the rich tones and hues of the Victorian period, through pale turn of the century colours to finally, the white paint-it-out-so-we-cannot-see-it vision of the 1950s. Old House Colors USA
From the Georgian period onwards grander rooms that received and entertained guests had the most elaborate mouldings and the smaller private rooms had simplier decoration. Designs were taken from classical influences and a common design was the egg and dart or a dentil which featured along the bottom edge of the moulding.
Ceiling roses started to be used in late Regency and early Victorian period. The plaster roses were introduced to collect and disguise the soot and dust caused by candles and oil lamps. In the Victorian period plaster roses had deep recesses that provided a ventilation grille for the gas lighting.
1 & 2. Egg and Dart moulding
In early Victorian times the cornices were larger and ornate buts towards the end of the period the moulding became simplier which gathered less dust. Designs became available that were pre made off site.
1& 2. Victorian oak coving with carved corbels 3-6 Victorian plaster
In an era obsessed by hygine the Edwardians preferred understated decoration. Mouldings were shallow and simple in form.
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