that the lines of the rich red mahogany woodwork should convey the impression of tongues of flame curling up to, and licking, the ceiling. This fancy may not, perhaps, be regarded by many as a very comfortable one, as it irresistibly brings to mind the question of fire insurance premiums ; but it is, nevertheless, quite characteristic of the " New Art," and I must admit that, in my opinion, this mantel is endowed with a peculiar and most decided charm.
A number of examples are given on Plate IV. to assist in rendering more clear my remarks regarding the character of the inlay which is so freely employed by the chair makers and cabinet makers of this particular school. It will be apparent that, in most instances, no effort was put forth to render this inlay decorative—employing the word in its strictest sense—or to so arrange the detail that it should have the appearance of having been specially designed to fit the spaces apportioned to it. The panels as they stand are simply naturalesque studies—pictures in wood, to all intents and purposes, which would look equally well, if not better, framed-up independently and hung on a wall.
By way of contrast to the foregoing I have introduced, on Plate V., a scheme of interior woodwork by the Union Centrale des Arts Decoratifs, of Paris, in which naturalesque detail is very extensively employed, but is subordinated throughout to structural conditions, and characterised by a sense of fitness which makes it not a little pleasing, at least that is my view.
By an examination of Plate VI. a fairly adequate conception may be gained of the general impression conveyed by a dining-room fitted and furnished in accordance with one of the predominant phases of the French " New Art," though the rare charm of the colouring of the original cannot be given here. Let the reader imagine the warm tones of mahogany illumined by the rays of the sun gleaming through stained glass graduated from pale yellow,
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through orange and deep saffron, to almost a blood red ; then the illustration will possess fuller meaning.
The next study, illustrated on this page, having nothing at all to do with furniture, ought not really to be here ; but I could not resist the temptation to introduce it, as it furnishes yet another striking proof of the rare ingenuity
Decorative Peacock Scheme, executed in Iron Piping with which these Frenchmen will press all manner of seemingly unlikely materials into their service in order to secure the effects they desire. The sketch represents one end of a galvanised iron building erected in the grounds of the last Paris Exhibition, and the design, which is certainly not unpleasing, is, I need not point out, based on the
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