An imposingly large chimneypiece and overmantel carved in oak in the Tudor / Jacobean Renaissance manner. Extremely tall and with intriguing imagery and motifs at the different levels which include a series of four carved owls interspersed with scallop shells and Tudor roses carved into the lower frieze. The owls frequently found in armorial bearings & associated with wisdom. The roses and shells were symbols or badges for Pilgrims to the East. The frieze is supported on two female Caryatids with abundant fruit headress and strapwork format below. The overmantel is composed of three typical Jacobean Panels with carved central Paterae, seperated by four female caryatids and lion masks, surmounted by the top fanned panels.These features bear a great resemblance to the chimneypiece and panelling in the Great Hall at Castle Ashby, see images and more details below.The 19th century red marble ingrounds are not original to the mantel, but we will extend them to fit.
CONNECTIONS : The Chimneypiece and panelling in the Great Hall in Castle Ashby, Marquis of Northampton, have similar details and features and could have been the inspiration for 9922 made in the 19th century and later, integrating earlier 17th century elements. That one was formerly in the Canonbury Tower, Islington on the Northampton's estate..which formerly belonged to the Spencer family of Diana renown, also a hunting lodge for Henry XVIII. The Tower was from the 1950's until recently the Tower Theater..now rebuilding on the recently revealed remains of Shakespeares original Curtain Theater round the corner from Westland's.
Built in 1509 as a country retreat for the Prior of St Bartholemew, Canonbury was acquired in 1590 by Sir John Spencer, Lord Mayor of London 1594-1595.His daughter eloped with a scion of the Compton family, latterley the Earls of Northampton who inherited the Tower when Spenser died. Sir John made many improvements, the fine panelling of the Spencer and Compton Oak Rooms are his work.
Link to: Antique Renaissance, Gothic Tudor Fireplace mantels and Chimneypieces: 1260 - 1600