Of all the buildings of the late eighteenth century, none is so remarkable, or so charming as the delightful ‘Cottage Ornee’ called A La Ronde. Not only is the house, a bizarre sixteen sided structure, wonderful, but it was decorated by its first owners, the Misses Parminter. The Parminter ladies were well travelled and very talented, and the house still contains many examples of their remarkable craftsmanship.
I am currently teaching a class on the Regency using objects and, having seen A La Ronde, remembered the curious way in which some pictures were mounted. This provided an excellent reason to visit the house again, so I could examine the pictures and try and recreate their technique.
The technique is now called ‘block mounting’, pasting a picture on a piece of wood. However the Parminter cousins added a decorative border. So to begin.
I first cut a suitable size piece of wood, larger than the print I wished to mount, and painted the edges. Then I pasted on a sheet of coloured paper.
The print was then pasted in the middle of the board, and a decorative border, made from gold paper trimmed within pinking shears into a series of chevrons, added.
I chose a suitable late eighteenth century print by a publisher called Carrington Bowles (incidentally he seems to have had a thing about hats, just about every lady he drew wears a big hat, even if she isn’t wearing anything else!).
For two independent ladies I chose an image of two Georgian Sportswomen.
Miss Trigger you see is an excellent shot, And forty five notches Miss Wicket’s just got
With young Catherine Morland in the background.
There is plenty of further inspiration to be found at A La Ronde, perhaps I will try something else in the future.
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