Elijah Galusha Rococo Revival Sideboard

by John Werry on December 21, 2009

Elijah Galusha Sideboard 8 Elijah Galusha Rococo Revival Sideboard

Continuing with my series of photos taken at the Rensselaer County Historical Society in Troy, NY, I present several of a sideboard by Elijah Galusha made in the Rococo style.

Make note of the mirror-image carved foliage in the gadrooning. You will see it again in a parlor table that I will be posting photos of in future.  It may be a decorative element (the particular carving design and not just the concept) that we can hold out to help identify Galusha pieces.  More photos of the sideboard are below.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

VictorianJunkie December 23, 2009 at 7:45 pm

Three questions: 1) What is the wood? I can’t make it out through the old/dark finish. 2) Do you think the upper shelf supports were originally angled? Maybe it is just the picture, but the bracket/shelf juncture look a little awkward. 3) Is there a name for that undulating ribbon/like trim at the top of the base skirt? I have often seen it on rococo-style furniture.
Phil

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John Werry December 23, 2009 at 8:30 pm

Phil: 1) Rosewood 2) I see what you’re saying – it’s almost as if it was chopped off – not sure. 3) I’ve heard it referred to ripple or wave moulding. I was trying to publish an article here on RV about that style moulding from another author, but the email exchanges on arranging it ran dry. I love the stuff.

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woodwright December 23, 2009 at 10:49 pm

I too love the ripple moldings seen on Rococo & Gothic furniture.
I have seen a lot of new and old machinery read tons of articles on woodworking, old books, etc. I’ve been a cabinetmaker for 26 years, and can make almost anything. But I’ve never seen anything that gave me a clue how ripple molding was made. I’ve thought about it a lot – but don’t even have a good guess. Probably used some kind of a stylus that followed a pattern sort of like a carving duplicator. I’m 100% positive it was made by machine – not hand carved. It’s always so perfectly spaced and uniform. Extremely hard to do by hand and make it perfect and uniform – also no tool marks like you would see in hand carved work – it would be incredibly time consuming and expensive to hand carve it. It was not made with a rotary cutter like a shaper, router, table saw, etc. – the inside corners where the pattern repeats is always sharp and crisp – it would be rounded to match the radius of the cutter if done by a rotary cutter. If anyone knows more about how it was made, or the machine that made it – I’d love for them to chime in and share what they know about it. woodwright

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