Art Nouveau Pyrographic Oval Picture Frame, Turn-of-the-Century
Historically known as pokerwork, wood burning, fire painting/drawing, and even Fire Needle Embroidery, pyrography is simply the art of writing with heat. The term “pyrography” was coined by the Victorians from the Greek words pur (meaning fire) and graphos (meaning writing).
The ancient craft was popularized in Victorian times when specialized tools such as the blow pipe etching and benzene devices were developed. With these new tools ladies, found it to be a fashionable hobby, and as business goes, ladies’ magazines embraced the idle woman’s new pastime with fervor, and suppliers jumped at the chance to advertise their products.
Our small oval Art Nouveau pyrographic frame is made from a light colored, fine-grained, soft wood such as sycamore, basswood, beech or birch. Its Art Nouveau floral design is painted with touches of green highlighting the leaves and with blue on a flower or two. Surrounding the flowers and leaves and along the frame’s sides are deep linear burn marks. The boldness and size of the single row flowers and leaves around the oval frame’s opening work well with the frame’s small size.
Our oval frame measures 7 3/4” x 9 3/4” and holds one 4” x 6” photograph, all of which hang on a wall. We believe that the frame is entirely hand-made because the outside and inner ovals are irregularly cut, and the back has a simple 4” x 6” frame with black turn-screws which hold the glass, photo, and backing in place.
The young woman’s photograph is not original to the frame and not included.