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If you’ve been checking out the other photos of my house (here, here and here), then you’ve noticed that my style is pretty traditional. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea but it suits me to, well, a T.

For years, as I hit estate sales, flea markets and thrift stores looking for traditional items to fill my first home, a classical bust was at the top of my wishlist, but their high price tags meant I always went home bust-less. So I was thrilled to find this one at an estate sale for the bargain-basement price of….wait for it….50 cents! Yep, that’s right, it was tagged $1 and, as this was the sale’s last day, they had marked everything half price. Best of all, she represents my favorite Greco/Roman deity: Artemis (aka Diana), mythology’s original wild woman — goddess of the hunt, chastity, childbirth, the moon and protector of women.

My bust is plaster and therefore very fragile, hence the long (character-adding) crack across her cheek:  antique bust of goddess diana

A plaster bust is the least expensive option. My friend and fellow traditionalist, Grant, one-upped me last weekend and scored this lovely pair of bisque (or unglazed) porcelain busts at an estate sale for only $20: Grant Dudley's busts

 The material options and costs go up from there. Terracotta is much rarer and more expensive than porcelain. As is Parian, a pure-white material created in the mid-1800′s specifically to give Victorian middle-class consumers the chance to own busts that look like marble at a fraction of the cost.antique terracotta and parian busts

Terracotta bust of Marie Antoinette    Parian bust of Clytie

 Most coveted and expensive are marble and bronze: antique marble and bronze busts

Carrara marble bust of Napoleon     Bronze bust of Antinous

Is a classical bust the finishing touch your home needs? Check your local antique stores and sites like 1stdibs, V&M, and ebay and be sure to tell us in the comments below how you feel about this oh-so-traditional touch.

16 Responses

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  3. […] In fact, I did a blog post about this trend and explained a bit about the different materials used for busts here… […]

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H. Camille SmithCamille is a managing editor for HGTV.com, fine artist and antique furniture devotee. As a former interior designer and Nickelodeon animator, she has a real passion for balanced, beautiful interiors...

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