Object Description

This is an elegant antique pair of English framed gilt bronze relief busts dating form the mid 19th Century.

This lovely pair of gilt bronze portrait busts feature a pair of classically dressed gentlemen in relief mounted on a black ground in their original giltwood and Gonçalo Alves frames.

The craftsmanship is second to none throughout all aspects of this pair and they are sure to add an elegant touch to your home.

In excellent condition, please see photos for confirmation.

Dimensions in cm:
Height 19 x Width 17 x Depth 2.5

Dimensions in inches:
Height 7.5 x Width 6.7 x Depth 1.0

Gonçalo alves is a hardwood (from the Portuguese name, Gonçalo Alves). It is sometimes referred to as tigerwood — a name that underscores the wood’s often dramatic, contrasting colour scheme, that some compare to rosewood.

While the sapwood is very light in colour, the heartwood is a sombre brown, with dark streaks that give it a unique look. The wood’s colour deepens with exposure and age and even the plainer-looking wood has a natural lustre.

Two species are usually listed as sources for gonçalo alves: Astronium fraxinifolium and Astronium graveolens, although other species in the genus may yield similar wood; the amount of striping that is present may vary.

In the high tropical forests of Central and South America, well-drained soils furnish nutrients for a variety of dense, durable hardwoods sought for maritime use, heavy construction, and furniture. The Spanish began harvesting in Latin American forests in the early 1500s to provide timber for boatbuilding and repair. By the early 1900s, however, steel ships had replaced wooden ones, and the interest in tropical forests by both Europeans and Americans shifted to appearance-grade woods for furniture.

Although history fails to provide us with a shopping list of species from either harvest period, it’s probable that the wood we know today as goncalo alves has always been sought. That’s because goncalo alves, considered one of the most beautiful of tropical woods, has a tough reputation, too. Strong and durable, it’s used for construction in its homeland and secondarily for fine furniture. Woodworkers elsewhere treasure the wood for decorative items and veneer accents.

Our reference: 09413

Object Classification

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