Made only for show

William Gershom Collingwood, The Philosophy of ornament : eight lectures on the history of decorative art, given at Uniersity College, Liverpool, Kent, George Allen Orpington, 1883, p. 21.

It seems almost absurd to mention that ornament must not be an extraneous excrescence, an encumbrance to the article it professes to adorn. But how often do we find a thing is « too good to use », or overlaid with glitter and carving, pattern after pattern piled on like a caddis-worm’s nest, until it is obviously useless, being made only for show.