This French mascaron is made of a reconstituted stone, with a nicely weathered patina. Reconstitued stone is cast mixture of crushed stones and various binding additives, sometimes cement. It has been used as casting material for outdoor pieces for centuries, but it became quite popular in the 19th century.
A mascaron is an architectural ornament depicting a face. Originally, mascarons were frightening faces, placed on the outside walls of architectural structures with the intent of scaring the evil spirits away before they could enter the building. As the 18th and 19th centuries progressed, they were used mainly as decorative elements, featuring normal visages, adding elegance to a piece of furniture or the exterior of a building.
Our female mascaron has wavy, thick hair decorated with flowers. There is a tall fluted tiara on top of her head. She also has a wry smile to her face, and she has been cast with the mouth open, meaning this mascaron could be hung on a wall, over a basin to function as a fountain spout. Of course, it can also be hung simply as a piece of art, indoors or out.
CONDITION: Very good condition with minor nicks and faded elements.