Impact of Gilt Bronzing Technique on the Value of the Furniture
Many scholars believe that if the copper bracket on the furniture is preserved with its original bronzing treatment, it will always be better than without the original bronzing. We can ask those scholars whether they are referring to the first bronzing during the reign of Louis XV (1743-1774) or the penultimate bronzing during Napoleon III, in other words, referring to the second half of the 19th century The bronzing is still the newly completed bronzing in the workshop. In short, re-stamping will not reduce the value of copper parts. As we all know, the beauty and value of items in accessories depend on their quality (sculptural strength, chasing skills), not a few grams of gold that restores its original color.
As we mentioned the chandeliers, wall lamps, clocks, statues, etc. in the previous article, because of their use function, their bronzing is more susceptible to larger-scale wear and tear, so that they have to undergo more re- bronzing than any other decorative copper items. If the copper fittings installed on the furniture (handles, chutes) are replaced or some items are reworked, this by itself does not devalue the entire item. The value of a piece of furniture depends on its shape, the quality of panelling and the precious wood of the finish, rather than the few copper brackets for practical use. In other words, when the furniture has an aesthetic effect, it is not made of a large amount of decorative copper. Formed by accessories. Of course, when the work is enhanced by the installation of a wide range of copper accessories, everything will be completely changed, combining inlays, finishes and shapes to determine its beauty and value. In this case, the copper bracket should be at least 90% of the original, regardless of whether it is hot-stamped or not. If the parts were reworked in the 19th or 20th century, the value of the parts could drop by 20% to 40%.
After discussing the bronzing, we must also mention the artisans who repaired and rebuilt the copper stents, especially in Paris.
From Renotte, which can customize copper accessories of any shape for customers, to Couste, Lavigne and Moreira, it is obvious that if there is no such top bronze company, the copper is the most important part of French traditional decoration. The accessories will simply not be retained and passed on.
In the next article, I will focus on the peak period of French use of bronzing technology: the imperial period.