A George I Simulated Tortoiseshell Girandole – Part Two

The pine girandole frame consists of two parts; the main fretted frame, and a thinner, moulded frame that is attached to the front of the fretted frame.

ggtg_200413_01aFig. 1. Half-lapped and mitred front frame.

ggtg_200413_02aFig. 2. Front frame and fretted frame components.

With the frame components assembled and dry, I trimmed the joints, faired the curves and moulded the front frame edges.

The two separate frames received four coats of gesso (fig. 3) before being glued and nailed together.

ggtg_220413_01aFig. 3. Freshly gessoed frames.

The assembled frame was given a few final coats of gesso before being made perfectly smooth and gilded (fig. 4).

ggtg_260413_01aFig. 4. The frame, gilded.

Jack Plane

About Jack Plane

Formerly from the UK, Jack is a retired antiques dealer and self-taught woodworker, now living in Australia.
This entry was posted in Mirrors & Girandoles and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to A George I Simulated Tortoiseshell Girandole – Part Two

  1. Joe m says:

    so this will be a different method of createing a tortoiseshell decoration/finish than the chest of drawers? Gilding intead of yellow base?


    • Jack Plane says:

      Indeed. Larger simulated tortoiseshell pieces, like chests, were usually painted over a yellow or red ground, but smaller, more intimate items such as boxes, dressing tables and looking glasses etc. were more often painted over silver or gold leaf.

      The foil – being more reflective than a painted ground – affords the faux tortoiseshell a realistic iridescent quality.



  2. Marsh Jim says:

    Great stuff as usual. What type of gesso do you use? Acrylic or your own formula?
    Thanks jim


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