Peter Hone’s plaster casts of historical figures come from glossy dark brown plaques attributed to Francois Lepage, who in 1855, secured a patent for what he called ‘Bois Durci’, the combining of blood albumen from slaughterhouses, with fine saw dust to form a plastic mouldable material. The saw dust (either ebony or rose wood), was mixed with blood, dried and then ground to a fine powder. The powder was placed into a steel mould and steam heated to up to 250C in a powerful hydraulic press. After half an hour the mould was plunged into cold water. The resulting wood product was an extremely dense, highly polished material. The most common items available in Bois durci are circular plaques showing royalty or statesmen of the time. We can’t help but think these were improved through Peter’s decision to cast them in creamy plaster of Paris, more suitable to the interiors of today. Comes with a ring for hanging. Diameter 11cm.