By 1800, low relief decoration was being applied to ceiling borders for the first time, a trend which continued throughout the 19th century. Punctuating the wider Georgian Period, the Regency Period (from 1811 – 1820) and the associated Regency style encompassed more decorative elegance and lightness of touch than had been the case the decades leading up to the period, all of which is strongly reflected in our Regency mouldings.
Simple, mathematical ratios
The defining style of Regency plaster mouldings, along with other Regency architectural features, closely followed the rules of simple mathematical ratios when it came to determining the size and scale of architectural components. This wasn’t the case in every home in Britain, as there certainly were more daring design motifs amongst the interiors of some of Britain’s grand mansions and the homes of prestigious architects such as John Soane, but these were exceptions rather than the rule.
Some of these more elaborate Regency period designs and motifs were influenced by the latest archaeological developments in Germany and Italy or the latest interior trends from Germany or France.
Another John, architect John Nash, was responsible for much of Regency London (under the patronage of the Prince Regent, and during his reign as George IV), defined by great, long terraces or crescents such as those along Regent Street, Regent Park and (pictured) Carlton House Terrace:
Unlike Palladian interiors, where the cornice, ceiling rose, door area or dado rail provided the primary visual interest around the walls and ceiling of a room, with the more restrained Regency period interior mouldings, the focus was shifted to furniture, wallpaper and window drapery.
Sharply contrasting with heavier, traditional mouldings such as the ever-present egg-and-dart, Regency plaster mouldings were typically more delicate and generally known for their low-relief. Grecian motives were and remain very popular, particularly the Anthemion (the below example, crafted and available here at Fullbrooks of England – Product Code C34):
As well as the Vitruvian Scroll (also available, Product Code C45): Click for prices on these cornices
Along with being being a feature of many Regency cornices, the Vitruvian scroll motif was also used to decorate pilasters and soffits of arches by architects Henry Holland and the aforementioned Soane.
The most common moulding of the Regency period, and the moulding that most reflected the simplicity and restraint of Regency period plasterwork, was the bead. Reeding (combinations of two or more linked beads, adjoining the adjacent surface) was applied to everything from cornices and skirting to door and chimney surrounds.
Waterleaf cornices are a great example of the neo-classical influence on Regency period plaster mouldings, with their sharp leaf detailing remaining ever-popular today (the below Regency Waterleaf Cornice from Fullbrooks – Product Code C6):
Leaf was also used in a bolder and more striking manner though large, Acanthus leaf mouldings. (Below we can see this in our current Large Regency Acanthus Leaf Cornice – Product Code C18): Click for prices on these cornices
For a full illustrated list of all of our Regency mouldings and other fibrous plaster products, please visit the Products page and select the appropriate category. If you need to speak to us about any of our plaster products contact us for an informal chat.