Plaster work describes construction or ornamentation done with plaster. In this castegory it is meant to convey plaster art work, so objects such as busts or statues, but we do include small or larger plaster roundels or fragments that may have been used in the decoration of a room.
Plaster Maquettes are items constructed in small scale to replicate a working piece of art or scale model. These were popular with sculptors and those designing buildings in the last century as it would enable them to see how a piece might look before going to the expense of building or creating it, so any mistakes or changes could be made at that stage.
They were also used in the study of the human form and many were produced for and by Museums. You can find a full human form or just parts. In the Victorian era, it was popular to have a death mask created when a loved one died as a reminder of what they looked like, or the hand of an infant that had passed away, again as a memento.
Papier mache was created in China many centuries ago and they first began using it for helmets, which seems odd, but they used to cover them in many layers of lacquer to make them strong and harden them. China was also the country that created paper, so it made sense for them to be the first to experiment with it. France was the first European country, in the mid 17th Century to start using papier mache. One of the most well known English papier mache furniture and smaller item producers are Jennens & Bettridge in the 19th Century and their pieces are very collectable today.
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