[Home] DECOR ART

A brief listing of common Art Deco terms.


Art Deco
Derived from the "Exposition des Arts Decoratifs" - Paris 1925. Which, it turns out was not the beginning of the movement, but more the end of it.


Bronze
Generally an alloy of tin, zinc and mostly copper. Originally,way-way back in time, a sort of "fake" gold for statues.


White Metal
Any of various whitish alloys such as pewter containing a large percentage of tin or lead.


Plinth
A block or slab on which a statue or lamp maybe placed. Could be made of bronze, other metal, marble or even wood.


Chryselephantine
Originally referred to gold and ivory statuary as produced by the ancient Greeks. Today it is used to describe bronze and ivory statues.


Faux
Means artificial, imitation, not genuine or simulated. Some folks also like the word fake.


Mandarin Ivory
Not used in the making of "bronze/ivory" statues. I've never seen any of it but have noticed item listings that do incorporate its' use. I'll double check my information but I believe it grows on trees.


Doré
The name given to a very soft and beautiful gold finish put on statues and other objects. It is achieved by suspending pure gold in liquid mercury then using a procedure which includes extreme heat and unwanted materials are burned off leaving behind a beautiful satin gold coating. A very dangerous process however.


Original
An "original" is the actual sculpture the artist delivers to the foundry/factory where in "copies" are produced to be sold to the public. At which time they become "original production" pieces.


Retro
I have no idea! Is it old? Is it a copy? Is it a fake? Is it a re-cast? Is it a re-production? Or,does it mean it is new but it looks like something out of the past? Anyway, the word is commonly used with no explanation. Sounds to me like a trick and appropriate sounding word for some folks to use when describing something they are trying to sell. Maybe..... We will even use it sometime.


Nouveau
This movement began around the 1880ís and ended during the early 1900ís. A kind of revolt against Victorian tradition it was know for its sinuous plant form shapes in both architecture and furniture design. Also very sensuous female forms with long streaming hair styles were the order of the day.


Patina
Generally refers to any single antique color applied to an object. But, more specifically, it refers to the conversion of a bronze or copper surface by the use of various acid chemicals and heat. Or possibly, the natural coloring affect appearing on these surfaces as they age within a particular environment. Such as that which occurs to a bronze statue located in a water fountain.


Polychrome
Usually refers to the finish on a piece involving multi-color paint, patina or electro-plating. There are many procedures and it was used extensively in the decorative arts.


Solid Bronze
The term suggest that the entire piece is one solid mass. Not necessarily so. Though the piece may be hollow, it is still "solid bronze" due to the composition of its wall thickness. There are, of course, many small bronzes because of their size are not hollow anywhere. For example, Austrian bronzes, usually 6" in length or less. Also, some larger dancing figures with narrow body members. Again, usually around 12" in length or less.


| Home | Lamps | Statues | <> | Art Deco Story | Artists | Books |

Copyright © 1996-2006 Decor Art Deco All Rights Reserved

Last Updated 3/14/06