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Old Posted Jan 13, 2013, 5:41 PM
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ardecila ardecila is online now
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: the city o'wind
Posts: 14,317
Two guesses:

1 - After the balcony was removed, the owner did indeed continue the cornice across with a new piece of some kind. The second photo shows that the infill piece is not straight, but zigzags a little. This is consistent with the kind of low-budget, shoddy workmanship you would expect in a declining neighborhood. The original cornice was probably stone or plaster; the infill piece was probably plaster or painted wood.

2 - the cornice had a corresponding molding lining the ceiling of the balcony. When the balcony was removed, this would have been exposed, save for two small gaps where the balcony structure tied in.

The odd items in the first photo are possibly sun shades (which would make sense if the balcony faced south). They could also potentially be easels; it was common for well-to-do people to paint in their leisure time.
la forme d'une ville change plus vite, hélas! que le coeur d'un mortel...
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