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Knole is incomparably rich in the finest early seventeenth-century English furniture.It is sometimes forgotten that the collection is almost as rich in magnificent early picture frames.
Papier-mâché was first used in this way in the 17th century.
Water gilding was a more time-consuming process and required a special preparation of clay (the 'bole') which provided the firm, smooth foundation necessary for the gilding to be burnished, or polished.
Elaborately carved frames were time-consuming to make.
This guide was produced on the occasion of a lecture by Jacob Simon at Knole in November 1998 and has been revised December 2013.
Over the next few years major work will take place at Knole meaning that not all the pictures will necessarily be accessible as described in this guide.
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It was, however, the introduction of compo, a composition of whiting, glue, resin and linseed oil, which drove out the carved frame.