In my 1899, early arts-and-crafts FourSquare, a 1 1/2" tall x 1" deep moulding surrounds the top of the walls but does NOT touch the ceiling, anywhere. There is a very even 3/8" gap between the top of the moulding and the plaster ceiling, all around the perimeter of every ceiling. Deep in the gap, there are lumps and bumps where the wall and ceiling plaster meet, though the plaster is neither loose nor crumbling, and which seem to be the reason the moulding wasn't mounted flush to the ceiling. Question is, why?
My first guess was that the small crown might have been mounted with a gap to act as picture rail, though all PR
I've seen is usual hung 14"-18" below ceiling height, and this appears to be a regular profile small moulding.
My second guess was that the builders, cutting corners, did sloppy plaster work, knowing it would be covered by the moulding later, which later couldn't be jammed all the way up to the ceiling. I have to point out this seems out of character with the rest of the house, however, which is marked by precise and beautiful work all over, particularly trim and finish woodwork. These are original thickness plaster ceilings, BTW, so we can rule out a situation where moulding was removed for re-plastering and then replaced over a lousy job.
Can anyone briefly tell me if there is a known architectural reason for the gap?