9853 A VERY FINE PAIR OF ‘TALC’ SCULPTÉE OVAL FLORAL RELIEFS Possibly French. Late Eighteenth Or Early Nineteenth Century. The Faux Painted And Convex Glass Mounted Frames Second Quarter Of The Nineteenth Century. Measurements: Inside frame: Height: 19 3/4″ (50cm); Width: 13 3/4″ (35cm). Including frame: Height: 25 1/4″ (64 cm); Width: 19 3/4″ (50cm); […]
Of white and blue painted talc sculptée. Each oval relief is centered by a white painted naturalistically modeled floral spray, on a greyish-blue ground. The original molded wood frames painted as faux oak. Each fitted with an oval convex protective glass.
These unusual, exquisitely detailed reliefs may be a type of medium referred to in late-eighteenth century France as ‘talc sculptée.’ It is assumed that the term indicates that it is a very finely grained gesso that lent itself to carving, as opposed to a molded relief. The recently rediscovered microcarver Jean-Antoine Boichard exhibited what were probably very similar reliefs in the medium at the Exposition du Colisée in 1776 described as “a bouquet of flowers in a vase, the whole modeled in talc.”