Furniture AppliqueDo you want to take your furniture to the next level? Tired of the ordinary? Furniture appliqués have been considered through time to enhance superior furniture. The French influence brought showy furniture to the front stage, and it was admired around the world.  It was during the rococo era, where Europe embraced the use of gilt-bronze mounts, brass inlay and quintessential gilded enrichments that we all admire to this day.

The rococo movement was a refined, and paired down expression that was developed as a reaction against the grandeur of the Baroque style which came before it. French furniture, at this time, embraced the detail found in the baroque styles, which was often expressed through the wood carvings and bronze ormolu.

Designers Who Pushed This Look Forward

Jacques Caffieri (1678–1755), whose finished gilt-bronze pieces were almost as fine as jeweler’s work. In France, neoclassic ormolu was attributed to Pierre-Philippe Thomire (1751–1843) was continued by Lucien-François Feuchère. Beurdeley & Cie. produced excellent ormolu in rococo and neoclassical styles in Paris, and rococo gilt-bronze is characteristic of the furniture of François Linke.

The Dirty History Of Ormolu

Ormolu, isn’t the furniture decoration itself, but I have come to learn that it is a term that describes the finish used on metal to imitate gold.

In the 18th-century, the term Ormolu was used by the English to describe a specific process, which gold was finely ground, and applied to an object in bronze.

The manufacture of true ormolu is a toxic process known as mercury-gilding, in which a solution of nitrate of mercury is applied to a piece of copper, brass, or bronze, followed by the application of an amalgam of gold and mercury. The item was then exposed to extreme heat until the mercury burned off and the gold is adhered to the metal object. This process was chiefly used for furniture mountings, rococo clocks, and accessories.

Just How Toxic Was This Process??

Ormolu pieces were no longer produced after the early 1800s because of their substantial cost and extreme health risks.  Using real gold was costly, let alone the exposure to mercury fumes, most gilders did not survive beyond 40 years of age.

Mercury poisoning damaged  the brain, kidney, and lungs.  Sensory impairment such as vision loss, hearing loss, and speech loss were common symptoms with mercury poisoning.  A lack of coordination was another symptom of exposure. Itching, burning and redness of the skin, in addition to profuse sweating, faster-than-normal heart beat, increased salivation, and high blood pressure.   Also add to that, loss of hair, teeth, and nails, muscle weakness, and increased sensitivity to light.  Today many children in Africa, die early as a result of inhaled mercury vapors while trying to extract precious metals from computer parts.  More frightening is the vaccines that contain thiomersal that we made available to the public and children.

The Use Of Furniture Appliques Today

Today many use the word “ormolu” is used to describe an item that also may be merely painted with gold paint. Gilt bronze is another term that bears no relation to the ormolu process, but can allude to gilt furniture appliques.

Many people are making furniture appliques popular again by using less expensive approaches. For those who paint furniture, or restore furniture there are several options available to you.  There are sellers on ebay who produce genuine high quality furniture appliques out of bronze such as Ari’s Luxury on ebay View some of their collections, hereAri’s Luxury offers a very nice selection of 24k gold plated embellishments that can be glued,pined or nailed at a very affordable price.

There are also many other sellers who re-produce French styled ornaments such as Chic 1350′ on ebay.   Their appliques are made from resin and wood fillers, so they can be stained or painted.

Kinds Of Appliques

Appliques can add a extra level of prestige to a chest, side board or wall cabinets. Wood appliques are hand carved, and perfect for furniture or cabinetry made from solid wood. Wood can be stained, pickled, gray washed or limed for that Swedish look.

Wood Appliques

Carving appliques are time consuming and difficult, which makes wood appliques expensive, but well worth it. Wood appliques can be painted and can be stained to match any existing wood furniture or new project.

Use appliques can be added on cabinet doors, between wall molding, above doorways, and on your doors. Appliques can be combined with other designs to make up a customized look.

Resin Appliques

Polyurethane appliques can be very affordable, and give you the extra glamor that you see in the old world French and Swedish homes. Resin appliques are lighter in weight and come in a wide variety of sizes.

Ebay has become my best friend for finding those one of a kind French hardware. I particularly love to collect the bronze wreath escutcheons, and they are very hard to find.

Over the years I have duplicated antique hardware that I have collected, and be able to dress up many of my favorite pieces in my home to give them more of a Swedish / French look for less.

You also can make your own furniture appliques using molding putty. Duplicate a special piece of hardware to dress up furniture around your home.

Watch a video of how easy this is at Alumilite- How To Make Rubber Molds, they step you through the process of making your own molds using their amazing mold putty, which you can then use with casting resins. Their instructional videos make it seem very easy compared to bake in the oven clays which are incredibly hard to soften up.

Here are some of the products worth buying…..

  • Amazing Mold Putty $24. This putty will help you to make your own molds for resin, food, soap, wax, clay and more.
  • Amazing Casting Resin – $19 Liquid to solid within 10 minutes. Each kit contains 16 fluid oz. Your cured Amazing Casting Resin piece can be painted, stained, dyed, tapped, drilled and machined.
  • Mold builder is a natural latex rubber that is quick drying, economical to use, peels easily from model, flexible and stretchable, harmless to most surfaces. Now you can duplicate figurines, sculptures and other items with safe, brushable latex rubber. Mold builder will not stick to metal, clay, ceramics, plaster, wood, or plasticine clay. Mold builder molds are durable, reusable, and economical to make. The molds you make from mold builder can be used to cast paper, plaster, candle wax, soap, casting resin or casting epoxy.
  • Smooth-On Silicone Mold Making Rubber -Use this silicone mold making rubber for making perfect reproductions of original models. It captures intricate detail and is easy to use. Use silicone rubber compounds that feature convenient one-to-one by volume mix ratios (no scale necessary). OOMOO 30 has a 30-minute pot life, with a six-hour cure time.
  • Smooth-On Smooth-Cast 300 Liquid Plastic Compound– Perfect for pouring into a rubber mold. Quickly turns from a liquid to a solid, durable plastic. Ideal for duplicating a variety of original models or sculptures. The Smooth Cast 300 Series of liquid plastics are ultra-low viscosity casting resins that yield castings that are bright white and virtually bubble free.

Additional Articles:

-Ornamental Furniture Molds From Top Quality Moldings- Meranda’s Picks – Hersite

-20 Common Painting / Furniture Restoration Questions Answered- Hersite

-Overhead Projectors For Stenciling Projects And DIY Furniture Appliques – Hersite

– Ari’s Luxury Ormolu – The Swedish Furniture

– Furniture Appliques On Ebay- The Painted Furniture

Appliques-500x724

Round Brass Bronze Escutcheons Wood Wreath Applique From Traditional Home

Inviting-Home-Wood-Appliques

Montpelier Large Wreath Onlay – Maple Wood $113, Hartford Large Wreath Onlay – Oak Wood $79, Dallas Floral Swag Wood Carving $54

Inviting-Home-Appliques

Modesto Furniture Onlays $79, Modesto Large Floral Drop $79, Richland wood carving $84, Salinas wood carving $48, Portland Scrolls Wood Carving – Oak $116

Polyurethane Appliques

Inviting Home also has a wide variety of Architectural Wall Decorations made from polyurethane. These appliques are perfect for both indoor and exterior use. All the architectural decorations are carefully reproduced and inspired by historical designs.

These molds are manufactured from high density furniture grade polyurethane. This material is famous for it’s high resistance to moisture and heat conditions, impervious to insect infestation and odor free. Polyurethane decorations are installed with construction adhesive. You should just glue them in place to any exterior or interior surface and the job is done.

Furniture AppliquesFrench Cartouche Wall Art Decor 30+ Finishes 16.5″ length x 5.25″ width x 1″ depth $48 On Ebay

Reproduction Winged Pediment Wall Decor 31″ length x 15.5″ width x 2.5″ depth $248 On Ebay

Bow & Floral Over the Door Plaque 20″ length x 9″ width $59 On Ebay

Olde World Kensington Over the Door Decor 31″ length x 8″ width $89 On Ebay

Fruit Basket Cartouche Antique Reproduction – 16.5″ length x 8″ width x 2″ depth $56 On Ebay

Henhurst-Blog-of-Tone-On-Tone-Antiques

Here you can see how nicely a green grey looks against white upholstery. Decorative appliques, or carved wood is painted in a darker teal

Henhurst Blog of Tone On Tone Antiques

Henhurst Interiors

A Stunning Footstool With Furniture Appliques – Henhurst Blog

Nuance Panel Mold From Victoria Larsen- Buy This Mold And Make Your Own -

Nuance Panel Mold From Victoria Larsen- Buy This Mold And Make Your Own on ebay
Decorative French Swedish Molds
 
Victorian Musical Flourish -Make Your Own Molds From Victoria Larsen on ebay

Urban Comfort Leaves

Use air-dry clay and fallen leaves to make mini bowls that are perfect for jewelry, keys, and other knick-knacks. Get the tutorial at Urban Comfort.

The Most Beautiful Baroque Plasterwork In Dublin- The Regency Furniture

The Most Beautiful Baroque Plasterwork In Dublin- The Regency Furniture

Architectural White Wall Using Plaster Detail Flourishes

Architectural White Wall Using Plaster Detail Flourishes
 
Spactacular Photo Of A French Bench With A Shell Mold
 

Spactacular Photo Of A French Bench With A Shell Mold

Unknown Credit.

Houghton Hall, UK

Houghton Hall, UK
Orlandini Studios Ltd., at 633 W Virginia street in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
 
Orlandini Studios Ltd., at 633 W Virginia street in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
creates decorative plaster works, repairs ornamental plaster, and
creates new works from original and often very old molds passed down
for generations.
 

Edinburgh Castle Architectural Features by Aberystwyth Online

Edinburgh Castle Architectural Features by Aberystwyth Online

Swedish Looking Bow Mirror Topper Applique £7.95 On Ebay UK

Swedish Looking Bow Mirror Topper Applique £7.95 On Ebay UK

Furniture Appliques From England

Swedish Looking Furniture Appliques On Ebay UK

Soane Museum, London

Soane Museum, London

Plaster Casts (Roundels) Cornell University

Plaster Casts (Roundels) Cornell University
 
Boston Ornament Company’s showroom- New England Home -
Boston Ornament Company’s showroom- New England Home

ElleDeco092011

Elle Decor Russia  Sept 2011

Elle decor russie sept 2011Elle Decor Russia  Sept 2011

Elle decor russie 2 sept 2011Elle Decor Russia  Sept 2011

Secretaire

 Picture From My Friend Craig Flaming at The Creative Hand

Close view of the gilded moulding in the Queen’s Bedchamber at Ham House, Richmond-upon-Thames, Surrey. The Frame Blog

Close view of the gilded moulding in the Queen’s Bedchamber at Ham House, Richmond-upon-Thames, Surrey. The Frame Blog

French Furniture

Picture From My Friend Craig Flaming at The Creative Hand

Antique 19thC GILT BRONZE Furniture Mount FRENCH Trophy BOW Leaves ORNAMENT 15 From Winter Gardern Ebay

Antique 19thC GILT BRONZE Furniture Mount FRENCH Trophy BOW Leaves ORNAMENT 15 From Winter Gardern Ebay

French Clock

Clock Seen at Invaluable

Italian Commode w White Marble Top Live AuctioneersItalian Commode w White Marble Top Live Auctioneers

19th century ormolu

Ari’s Luxury on ebay

Furniture Appliques

Architectural Depot Appliques & Onlays

Furniture Appliques 1

Furniture Appliques 1

Chic 1350′ Furniture Appliques on  Ebay

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Comments

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4 COMMENTS

  1. What an informative and beautiful article. Thanks for sharing.
    Fun Fact: The expression “Mad as a Hatter” comes from the millinery industry in the 1800s. Mercury was used in the forming of the hat bands (or something like that) which of course drive them nutty with brain damage. Nice, huh?
    Anyway, this was really interesting and I appreciate you sharing the different sources. Which I’m not off to investigate!

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