Rare Victorian - Macro Antiques: John Henry Belter Rosalie

Macro Antiques: John Henry Belter Rosalie

MG 5901 18 Macro Antiques: John Henry Belter Rosalie

I though it would be interesting to see an angle of decorative arts that we don’t always see: the extreme close-up. I’ve pulled out my new macro lenses and have taken some close-ups of pieces that I own and will be sharing them over time in a new series of macro photography.  My antiques aren’t in the truly rare echelon so I can’t close up on some Herter inlay or Allen & Brother carvings, unfortunately.

The first images are from a John Henry Belter Rosalie with Grapes Chair.  The intriguing thing I learned from these shots is that it appears there are small dimples in the wood that create texture.  I haven’t decided if Bellter’s shop added those or whether they are natural to the Rosewood.  Notice the laminations layers.  [Click a few times to get largest version]

MG 5899 161 Macro Antiques: John Henry Belter Rosalie

MG 5898 151 Macro Antiques: John Henry Belter Rosalie

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  • English Classics - February 2, 2010

    As far as I can tell, the dimples are artificial. I deal in English furniture so my experience is a little different, but from what I have seen of rosewood, these dimples are not natural. English craftsmen used a similar technique that I usually call textured carving, although the dimples in most cases are more dense than your picture shows. I had a look through my picture archive and I came across several examples, and I found this (rather blurry) shot of a pair of pulls on a Georgian oak bureau we had a while back:


    As for rosewood, here are two examples. The first one is new and is made of rosewood with rosewood crossbanding. The second one is Georgian and is made of mahogany with rosewood crossbanding.



  • john hutchinson - February 2, 2010

    Hey John,
    I is the texture of the rosewood over time, the finish has become worn, and the deep pores have become exposed, thus losing their ‘fill’ of finish.

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