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Wooden Molds for Plaster Ornament

Plaster Molds
Plaster Mold Collection, Selections. Gift of Eli Nassim and Debra Picker.
Photo by Museum Staff.
Plaster
Plaster Mold Collection, Selections. Gift of Eli Nassim and Debra Picker.
Photo by Museum Staff.


Gift of Elias Nassim

Donated in 2013

These wooden molds were once used to create plaster ornamentation for buildings. The use of wooden molds like these dates back to the 1700s and the invention of composite plaster. This plaster's ability to me formed off site made prefabrication of decorative elements possible, which was easier for workers. Throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, wooden molds like these brought classical swags and urns; peacocks and flowers; cornucopia and fawns, to buildings around the world. Today, plaster casting is done with plastics and other modern, precision materials, making these wooden molds part of the history of architectural ornament.