It is, however, by no means necessary to good effect that the drawings or paintings thus arranged should come into close conttact. On the contrary, it is often a much better plan to separate them, especially in a drawing-room, by such small objects as sconces, small ornamental mirrors, or little wooden brackets, supporting statuettes, vases, etc. A very inexpensive and pretty form of mirror, probably Venetian in its origin, has lately been manufactured by Mr. Furze, of Hanway Street, and may be used for this purpose. The general form of the frame is that of a lozenge intersected by a quatrefoil. It is made of wood, covered with coloured velvet, and studded at its edges with nails, which may be either gilt or silvered.

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Small wooden brackets, in great variety of shape, can of course be bought at any ordinary upholsterer's, but as a rule they are weak in construction and of very inferior design. The pierced open-work with which their lower portions are usually decorated would be a perfectly legitimate means of ornamentaion for such objects, if properly introduced; but in this, as in all cases where wood-work is thus treated, the pattern should be represented by the portion cut away, and not by that which is left. The annexed example, though of very simple shape, will suffice to illustrate my meaning. It is hardly necessary to add that the so-called 'ornamental' leather-work which a few years ago was so much in vogue with young ladies, who used it for the construction of brackets, baskets, picture-frames, etc, was - like potichomanie, diaphenerie, and other modern drawing-room pursuits - utterly opposed to sound principles of taste. Pieces of leather cut into the shape of leaves and flowers, glued together and varnished, represent at best but a wretched parody of the carver's art. The characteristic beauty of oriental china and of painted windows can never be even suggested by bits of coloured paper gummed to the surface of glass. Such work as this may be the rage for a few seasons, but sooner or later must fall, as it deserves to fall, into universal contempt.

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The art of picture-hanging requires much nicety and no little patience, for it is difficult to measure distances between the centres of frames along a wall. One method of getting over the difficulty is to have an iron or brass rod fixed at the top of the wall, just under the ceiling, and fitted with sliding rings, to which the pictures may be attached by wire or cord. But this plan involves some expense, and it is hardly worth while to adopt it for ordinary use. Picture-rings are generally fixed at the back of the frame, and some inches below its upper edge; this throws the picture forward at the top, which some people consider an advantage. But this inclination, though sometimes advantageous in the highest row of a crowded gallery, is useless when every picture is hung 'on the line.' Moreover, a light frame thus suspended is never steady, but liable to rock with the slightest motion. A better plan is to screw the rings on the upper edge of the frame, which will then lie flat against the wall. When nails are used for picture-hanging, they should be driven into the wall just under the bottom line of the cornice, and, for obvious reasons, never lower down on the wall, where it can possibly be avoided. As, however, internal walls, or those which separate room from room, or rooms from passages, are merely framed partitions, filled in with lath and plaster, it is not always easy to find a holdfast for the nail; but, by gently tapping the wall with a hammer, it is easy to find where the solid wood - or, as the carpenters call it, the 'stud' - occurs, and there the nail will hold fast enough.

A framed picture, however small, should never be suspended from one nail. This may seem a trifle; but, independently of the considerations of safety, the effect produced by two points of support is infinitely better. The triangular space enclosed by a picture-cord stretched between three points must always be inharmonious with the horizontal and vertical lines of a room.

If it is desirable, as I have said, to hang oil pictures by themselves, it is doubly advisable to separate water-colour drawings and photographs or engravings. Each may be beautiful in their way, but to place them together is to destroy the effect of both. The print will look cold and harsh by the side of the water-colour sketch; the sketch will seem unreal and gaudy by the side of the photograph. Keep them all apart - if not in separate rooms, at least on separate walls. Never hang glazed drawings, where it can be avoided, opposite a window. The sheen of the glass reflects the daylight, and annihilates the effect of the picture behind it. Take care that your picture-cord either matches or harmonises with the colour of the wall-paper behind it. Some times wire is used instead of cord, because the former is almost invisible at a little distance; but this seems to me a disadvantage. If we know that a picture is hung, it is as well to see how it is hung; and this principle, by the way, extends to other details of household furniture.

Thus much for the hanging of pictures. On the subject of frames themselves, much might be said. I have endeavoured to show that the only proper means of arriving at correct form in objects of decorative art is to bear in mind the practical purpose to which such objects will be applied.

Now the use of a picture-frame is obvious. It has to give additional strength to the light 'strainer' of wood over which paper or canvas is stretched. It may also have to hold glass securely over the picture. Lastly, it has on its outer face to form a border which, while ornamental in itself, shall tend, by dividing the picture from surrounding objects, to confine the gaze of the spectators within its limits. These conditions seem simple enough, but how frequently are they violated in modern work ! The outer frame, instead of being made of oak or some other tough wood, is too frequently constructed of deal strips lightly glued together. In place of carving, the wood is overlaid with a species of composition moulded into wretched forms, which pass for ornament as soon as they are gilded. These are so brittle that, instead of protecting the picture, they have to be handled more carefully than the glass itself, and are liable to chip at the slightest blow. Finally, instead of confining attention to the picture, this sort of frame distracts the eye by its fussiness. Now, gilding on a picture-frame is not only justifiable by way of ornament, but is much to be recommended as a foil or neutral ground for enhancing the value of colour; but it ought to be laid directly on the wood, without any intervening composition; and if any ornament in relief is attempted, it should be carved in the solid material. The effect of oak-grain seen through leaf-gold is exceedingly good, and the sense of texture thus produced is infinitely more interesting than the smooth monotony of gilt 'compo.'