Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Antiques-French Polish

French Polish~~~French Polishing

Some of us just like the use of the word French in front of our favorite things, wine, cheese, bread, chateaus, and more.  Now what about French polish or French polishing?  It is actually a technique for finishing wood and not a material or product.

It involves the use of many layers of thin shellac that eventually yield a glossy surface on wood that is not only time consuming to acquire but breathtaking to view.  Some collectors of fine furniture refer to the technique as “the icing on the cake”.   It is costly and also time consuming; yet the richness that is captured with the process produces a piece that captures the eye. The technique was perfected by a Frenchman or so I have read around 1820.  I have also seen credit given to Viennese craftsmen during the late 18th century.  Next time we will go into more about the process and the little insect called Laciffer Lacca that is part of the process.  Yes, a little insect.  Below are some pictures of antique boxes with that little something extra….French Polish.

                    From the Victoria & Albert Museum-18th. C Knife box

                             Two Rare Tea Boxes-Antiques.com

                         A Stunning Cave à Liqueur  from my Innentory

                       A closer view of that beautiful technique called
                         French polishing; the wood is resplendent