A rare, monumental and highly ornate Louis XV style deeply carved Statuary Marble antique fireplace surround in the French Baroque Rococo manner with its original cast iron insert. The upper stop fluted coffered frieze sits above and behind an enormous and most elaborately scrolled central cartouche quite simply the flamboyant focus of the whole chimneypiece. The equally massive angled, scrolled and panelled jambs, beneath the two tiered endblocks, are embellished with large acanthus detail. Quatrefoil panels sit above the panelled side returns. The signature of a J. Molinari, and the name Menton are carved above the quatrefoil on the right return shown in the last image below.
French, late 19th century.
Note: Menton is a French Province on the Mediterranean coast close to the Italian border. Research on-going. Unusually the main elements of this chimneypiece are carved from solid blocks of marble.