Presented for sale is a rare mid 19th century English Japanned Papier-Mâché floor lamp with gaming table decorated with a mother of pearl checkered board enhanced with gilded and painted borders. The upright is japanned with painted garlands and the base is raised on animal paw feet.
Papier-Mâché is as ancient as the invention of paper itself being developed originally in China around 202 B.C. The term papier- mâché literally means “chewed paper,” which derived from employees who actually did just that in 18th century France. In England the technique developed as a way of molding objects into shape without carving. Many materials were used to compose Papier-Mâché including hay, nettles, bark, horse dung, and hemp fibers to name just a few. The technique was improved when Henry Clay succeeded in patenting a method by which paper was pressed into a metal mold and smoothed to remove air bubbles. Clay’s shop was purchased by Jennens and Bettridge who made even stronger panels by layering as many as 120 sheets together at one time enabling them to make bigger objects such as furniture. They paved the way for several other firms who followed in their footsteps long after they closed in 1864. The demand for Japanned furniture declined in the late 19th century but has once again found its collectors who adore the highly decorative pieces that have endured through the centuries.
The lamp is in excellent condition with minor signs of wear commensurate with its age. It has been totally rewired and is ready to plug in. It is rare to find the Mother-of-Pearl is such good condition.
Size: 54” Height by 21” Length by 16 ½” Width (dimensions of table).
English Victorian Japanned Papier Mache Floor Lamp With Gaming Table
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