Papier-mâché for the ceiling
By the mid-19th century, papier-mâché – long used to make small lacquered and decorative items like snuffboxes, trays and picture frames – became an alternative to plaster for creating architectural mouldings like cornices and ceiling roses.
Light, strong and easily fitted, it could be moulded into a myriad of designs, and proved ideal for creating architectural ornament. Once installed, the mouldings did not need to dry (as plaster mouldings did) before being painted, gilded or grained. A feature of the exhibition is a section of cornice, dated c1841, used at 'Fernhill' Mulgoa.
To read more about the papier-mache cornice from 'Fernhill' Mulgoa, see the Collection Bite.