Sunday, September 2, 2007


My source for reasonably priced framed intaglios: Quatrefoil Design Store.

Last year, on a visit to the Jerry Pair showroom, I came across a wall arrangement that was simply breathtaking. It consisted of 16 individually framed intaglios by Dessin Fournir. I love the look of a framed wall series (see my post from July on framed wall series), and this was one of the most beautiful series I had seen; the intaglios were simple, sculptural, and framed exquisitely.
Dessin Fournir Neoclassical Framed Intaglio

An intaglio is a figure or design carved into stone or a hard material. "Intaglios, cameos, and medals were popular among collectors in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. Skilled engravers copied such artefacts from the classical world, reproductions were made in paste and glass, and collectors bought them not only for display, but to study classical Greece and Rome. Additionally new medals and intaglios were as popular with collectors, who bought them to commemorate, and to show an affinity with the contemporary events and personalities depicted in them: battles, parliamentary acts, political campaigns, and philosophers, statesmen, soldiers, sailors, poets, writers." (from the UCL Bentham Project)

Jerry Pair ad, featuring Dessin Fournir framed intaglios

"An intaglio was first made in hard stone or metal, and then cast in glass, the glass often being coloured to imitate gem stones. The intaglios could be kept in drawers and brought out for private or communal contemplation, displayed in cabinets, hung in windows with light shining through, or mounted in a ring. The intaglios could also be used as seals, unmounted or mounted in a fob or a ring, for use on private correspondence, replacing the more usual personal crest, and would declare an affection for and/or association with the event or person depicted." (from the UCL Bentham Project)
Although they are an art form that is hundreds of years old, they can look quite contemporary and striking when framed and hung in sets.

Framed intaglios, Suzanne Kasler Interiors

Framed Intaglios above bed, Liz Williams

Southern Accents cover - framed intaglios above the bed

My source for reasonably priced framed intaglios: Quatrefoil Design Store.

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  1. The cover with the bed is Jacqueline Lanham - those intaglios make the whole room, so gorgeous!!!

  2. Great info! And I love the images you have posted. :)

  3. Nice images, and love the info! Thanks!

  4. i love framed art series. these intaglios are so simple and clean.
    i want to do a series over my couch - 9 framed in total- 3 rows of 3. i just need to find the artwork now. nice post!

  5. Great post, very informative! They are gorgeous photos too.

  6. I am really glad you did this post because I have never really understood what Intaglios were. I agree with Marissa that they have a simple and clean look. Great photos.

  7. Hi Sarah - the intaglios are beautiful! I love all the neat and esoteric topics you find. I really like refined little pieces like this, but I always find they are best placed somewhere you can really get a good look at them, like along a hallway, or in a bathroom where you have a captive audience that can inspect the art closely and reallly appreciate the detail!

    I know you probably have a million topics, but maybe you can help - I've always wondered about the differences between various drawing techniques like engraving, etching, and lithographs, which I think can all look alike. If you are ever in need of a topic. i really need to research this myself, so if you don't have time. I have several what I call "etchings" but I really don't know what officially they really are...fine, detailed black and white drawings pressed onto the paper...

  8. Thank you for all of the nice comments!

    Cote, I remembered seeing intaglios on the cover of Southern Accents, but could not find a picture on their website other than from a subscription ad, and could not find my copy...thanks for the info!

    Terri - generally I post on things that catch my eye, but I have some etchings and I may look into that as a future post!

  9. Beautiful post. Thank you so much for this great information!


  10. I never knew what they were called. Now (thank you very much) I am obsessed! LOL! Thank you for the feature...now I know what I'll be framing in my hallway...

  11. I learned something today! I had purchased 2 small intaglios on clearance at Arcanum in Savannah. I love them - they're mounted on red velvet and framed in black. But I had no idea what they really were. Thanks for the info!

  12. LOve, love, love intaglios! Thank you for the source.


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