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scagliola column, royal naval hospital, greenwich, london
section of one of the chapel scagliola columns of 1789, built by athenium stuart, showing its hollow lath covered base and the gypsum plaster scagliola topcoat. now in the small museum here. the columns convince as siennese marble until you tap or touch them, but are made of dust, chippings and coloured plaster polished with wax and oil.. many regency houses boast these clever cheaper alternatives which fell out of favour with victorians who saw them as dishonest. this seems nit picking when reality is mostly an illusion.