Thursday, December 3, 2009


This unusual tea caddy is covered with Bois Durci plaques Ca 1870

Bois Durci is a plastic moulding material based on cellulose. It was patented, in Paris in 1855, by Lepage. It is made from finely ground wood 'flour' mixed with a binder, either egg or blood albumen or gelatine. The wood is probably either ebony or rose wood, giving a black or brown result. The mixture is dried and ground to a fine powder. The powder is placed in a steel mould and compressed in a powerful hydraulic press whilst being heated by steam. The final product has a highly polished finish imparted by the surface of the steel mold.
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