Matching Scagliola Cartouches to Natural Marble Stone Panels

Typical “before” finish, a brown glaze over gold base.

The original 1927 finish.

Dundean Studios of Chatham, NJ did a remarkable job of painting cast scagliola pilaster cartouches to match adjacent natural marble panels and moldings in this Manhattan apartment building lobby. While the cartouches over the elevators are Scagliola, the other corbels are cast plaster, and both appear to be polished natural stone. The original intention was to paint both the cartouches and the corbels, but Dundean Studios refused and convinced the client to let them restore the cartouches. They cleaned, repaired, french-polished and waxed them.

This is side-by-side comparison, so the illusion has to be extremely effective to work. Scagliola, or “American Marezzo “, is an “imitation marble or other stone, made of plaster mixed with glue and dyes, which is then painted or polished. The trick is to get them to match the flat stonework, creating an illusion of work carved out of the same natural marble – – and match they do, as the images show. It is not clear if the “carved” (cast) work was originally intended to match or to contrast (see the before image). If they were intended to match, they were painted over, at some point. Regardless, the current treatment is striking and effective.

List of Scagliola Artisans.

List of Faux Finish Specialists.

Cast scagliola cartouche over elevator doors, matching the adjacent molded marble surrounds.

Cast scagliola cartouche over elevator doors, matching the adjacent molded marble surrounds.

Look carefully - - the scagliola capital matches the natural marble flat work.

The cast plaster capital matches the natural marble flat work.

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