Brad: Thanks mate
I have used Scanline with Light Tracer, 3 point lights (weak orange rim-light, fill with spec disabled) and a Skylight.
I used X-Convict's material setup and did some post-work in Photoshop (level adjustment and colour balance; cool shadows and warm highlights). Pretty cool results with minimum effort, though I does take a while to render :P
John: Thanks! I've made the patterns using Splines with Bend and Path Deform Modifiers. Other details were poly-modelled. Hope that helps
It's always great hearing feedback from you, especially because your work inspired me to start this piece.
Thanks for reinforcing my belief in removing some of the details; I started this piece with no clear idea in mind and experimented a lot with different kinds of ornaments, I felt that I started loosing consistency midway through. This piece took me a lot of time so far, but I have learnt a great deal about hard-surface modelling, detail distribution and design. I'm really satisfied with how it's turning out.
You have a good point about those flowery-trims, as now they seem slightly out of place. I still can reuse them later on, while making other pieces, so no effort wasted.
I'm still thinking about taking it into Zbrush to add some subtle surface detail; I don't want to destroy this piece with random noise and cracks, so I will try to be careful with sculpting.
I'm considering doing a scene with similar themed pieces. With some proper planning it might not take me too long. I'm getting more free time on my hands. Since I have put my other project on hold it would be a great chance to make a nice portfolio piece and learn UDK (finally :P).