Bois Durci (blood & sawdust!) portrait of Lord Derby, c.1860


Bois Durci portrait medallion of Edward Stanley-Smith, 14th Lord Derby, (1799-1869), three times British Prime Minister & longest serving conservative leader. Marked BOIS DURCI to the reverse, c. 1860.





Bois Durci was invented in 1856, in France by Francois Charles Lepage. Translating as 'blood and sawdust', these unlikely ingredients are mixed & heated and compressed until it polymerises.It is technically an early form of “plastic” and was often used for the cases of early daguerrotypes and ambrotypes, as well as medallions of notables such as this.

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