When I bought this house,I had three pair of Victorian Pressed Brass window Cornices,pelments,valances, or what ever one might call them. I had these for years. I bought them at a Antique mall in St.Louis. I had used them in many houses. In the past,I have had all sorts of them. But I would sell them off or be forced to leave them in a house when I would sell it. But, I knew I wanted brass cornices like these for the entire old house I was working on. So I started a quest to find enough to do the windows in this house, and that quest, took 4 years.
Cornices like these were the height of Victorian Window fashion in and around the 1860's. They were made of thin brass sheets that had been pressed onto a wood or plaster mold. The molds were hand carved and were used over and over. These were made in running feet and cut into 12 inches section. The sheets of brass were overlapped like the seams of wallpaper, and they would be matched up so the length could be adjusted. They were nailed to strips of wood and held to the window with metal brackets. The purpose was to cover the window mechians like rods and pockets. They were made in such the same way that tin ceiling panels were. They could be made longer by adding pieces and the ends were bent to go around the curtain rods. They also added decoration and bling to a room. The Victorians were all about bling, and they were the inventers of the phrase,"more is better."
I wanted to decorate this house to the 1860 appearance, so brass cornices were a must. So,I went on a mission to find them. I looked on ebay everyday. I found them listed under cornice,brass cornice,valance, brass valance, pelment and many other ways. I bid on lots of them, some I did not get, as I did not have the money to pay the price.Others I won and slowly I began to build up my collection to fill the windows of this house.
|A better look.|
|See the Grapes in the center. They are really large and fancy. I was lucky when I gave that tour. What a nice gift.Thank you Mrs. Lucas.|
|Dining room has three windows. I found these on Ebay.|
|They are really nice and a nice size.|
|They had matching tie backs.|
|Another View of the Dining Room.|
|Guest Bath Room.|
|Library has three windows. These were bought at a Estate Sale in St.Louis. They are the most grand ones I have.I was so happy to find them. They were painted with gold raditor paint. I cleaned them with paint remover.|
|They are 10 inches wide.|
|They cleaned up very nice. I polished them with steel wool.|
|Another view of the Library. Second floor.|
|Master Bed Room has 4 windows. I had three and found the 4th at a garage sale here in Clarksville. It just matched the other three. Looked all over the world and found it in my back yard. I thought Iwould never find one to match.|
|I added this wonderful Scalamandre fringe .|
|Purple Guest Room, I bought these on Ebay also. They were almost black when I got them. I cleaned them with fine steel wool.|
|They are only 4 inches wide and have a nice center.|
|They just finish off the curtains.|
|See how they are plated.|
|Another corner of my room.|
|These are forsale at an Auction House in New Orleans. Three for a starting bid of $1000.00|
|This is a very wonderful auction house, but the prices tend to go high.|
|Some for sale on Craigs List.|
|This is in the restored home of Abe and Mary Todd Lincolon in Springfield,Ill. Built about the same time as My Old Historic House. I visited it last summer with my niece and was happy to see all the rooms had Brass Cornices at the windows.|
My quest was over- that was the one I needed to complete the collection.Now what's next ????
I did a little research and came up with some for sale at auctions and on Craigs List. They are not bargins. There is none on ebay today, but who knows about tomorrow. I am sure if look hard and long enough you can find some out there somewhere.
Drop by for a tour anytime, I will leave the lights on and Sissy will meet you with a jump and a kiss. ENJOY!!!!