Edwardian coving/cornice

Anyone know how Edwardian coving/cornice was actually made?
There's a mismatch between our two downstairs receptions - the front room has the original stuff in still, but the dining room it's been replaced by standard quadrant stuff (presumably when the ceiling was replaced way before I bought the place).
Looking at the original, it is constructed of several concentric elements - a small rounded line on the ceiling on the inside, then a small fancy quadrant, then another "picture rail type" moulding just below it on the wall. There's none of the fancy flowered moulding associated with the earlier Victorian styles.
Now this stuff drops back to the same level as the ceiling/wall between the three elements, so it doesn't look as if it had been stuck on as one complete moulding. Which leads me to wonder whether it was actually added as three complete mouldings or whether it was in fact one piece?
Been trying to get hold of something to match it, but none of the standard patterns appear to match exactly - any suggestions?
thanks
Richard
-- Richard Sampson
email me at richard at olifant d-ot co do-t uk
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I think it might have been made inplace by drawing a suitably profiled piece of wood along the edge with plaster behind it. I have something similar, and there's no sign I can find that it is made of separate components. All the hairline cracks on the ceiling continue through the cornice in continuous lines.
--
Andrew Gabriel

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writes:

room
by
before
elements -

the
added
That was my first thought, but then I thought of all the slightly older Victorian stuff that is highly ornate - this can't have been created in situ.
Mind you, by the Edwardian era, people were probably bemoaning the loss of all the old skills and how mass produced low quality stuff was being thrown up left right and centre!!!
Incidentally, many thanks for your past posts on the art of plastering! Armed with couple of these printouts I've made my best job of patching a largeish area (3ft x 5ft) ever - the finish was excellent. Just got to reskim it because I've plastered to a bit of a hollow, but armed with a large straight edge I'll soon sort that out. Ta!
cheers Richard
-- Richard Sampson
email me at richard at olifant d-ot co do-t uk
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My great grandfather specialsed in doing the ornate plaster centre- pieces in rooms. He died a long time before I was born so I don't know anything about how he did them. Probably a good thing he never saw the plastic ones in B&Q...

Good.
Remember you can't feather one area of plaster into another, as you can't lay an infinately thin layer. You will need to cut back into into the edge of the area so you can skim up to the edge of the flat plasterwork. Also, you might like to consider quitting while you're ahead -- it's probably all too easy to end up with something much worse than you have now ;-)
--
Andrew Gabriel

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<snip>

Yes, I'd read through that particular discussion (about feathering).
Too late - I'm already commited to the path! Have chipped away a definite edge to the level plaster and deeply scored the newly applied finish coat all over to provide a decent key for the new stuff.
The depth that it's hollowed it probably about 7mm at it's deepest, so there is some merit in persuing the job to completion.
Besides, I'm just beginning to enjoy and hone these new-found skills... :-)
When I get some time/money I'll probably do a course (if I can find one with space). Strikes me as a damned useful skill to learn.
cheers Richard -- Richard Sampson
email me at richard at olifant d-ot co do-t uk
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They were sometimes formed in place by slopping on a load of sand/cement or plaster into the corner and then running a mould along it. My parent's house was done like this. (~1890). It has the advantages that there are no joins visible and complex bays are a doddle. The disadvantage is that it isn't quite as straight.

Create a wooden mould from the existing cornice. Then either mould in place, or make a wooden/MDF box of sufficient length, line with paper, pour in plaster and use the mould to create the piece. Put a small triangle of wood in one corner, so it fits snugly. Handle the completed item very carefully, it is likely to be brittle.
Christian.
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or
house
place,
wood
carefully,
Like it! That'll keep me out of trouble for a weekend or so.....
I suppose I could always strengthen it a little by embedding some twine or something.
thanks
Richard
-- Richard Sampson
email me at richard at olifant d-ot co do-t uk
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It's possible the dining room never had any cornice from new.
--
*Can fat people go skinny-dipping?

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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wrote:

Hmm, thats a possibility.
Time to find an excuse to be invited into a couple of neighbour's dining rooms, methinks....
Richard
-- Richard Sampson
email me at richard at olifant d-ot co do-t uk
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Yup. If they were anything like the Victorians, never spend a penny where a ha'penny will do.
--
*Marathon runners with bad footwear suffer the agony of defeat.*

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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I think that's the case with mine. Both rooms had picture rails which have been removed, but I can see exactly where they were when I stripped the wallpaper as they had left a mark all round the room where the plaster had never been painted.
--
Andrew Gabriel

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If it could be run in situ than it would have been because with a skilled plasterer on site that was the cheaper option, with no problems of transporting fragile lengths of gypsum plaster (with hessian in to strengthen it) around the country.
Nowadays the skillset to run cornice is much rarer and many plasterers will turn down the job. Also vehicles have better suspension. Premoulded lengths in a much more interesting selection of shapes than just quadrant are available from specialist companies (try yellow pages). They can be fixed in place by a competent DIYer and mate. Get some pure gypsum (plaster of paris) and a straightedge to make good the joins. Polyfilla would probably do.
A more complicated cornice would likely have been run in situ and then have premoulded ornaments stuck on to it.
Anna
-- ~~ Anna Kettle, Suffolk, England |""""| ~ Lime plasterwork, plaster conservation / ^^ \ // Freehand modelling and pargeting |____| www.kettlenet.co.uk 07976 649862
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