Antique Marble Fireplaces
Stunning antique marble fireplaces, mantels & chimneypieces made in variety of different antique marbles, including Sienna marble, Statuary marble, Cippolino marble, Verde antico marble examples.
Our stunning collection of antique marble fireplaces, mantels and chimneypieces features fireplaces made in a variety of different antique marbles, including Sienna marble, Statuary marble, Cippolino marble and Verde Antico marble.
A brief history of marble
Marble has been used in architecture for thousands of years, dating back to the ancient Mesopotamian and Egyptian cultures. Its ability to bear immense weight made it ideal for supporting structures and monolithic columns in public, private and religious buildings. Prized for its beauty and resilience, marble has been used in some of the world’s most iconic buildings, including the Parthenon, the Taj Mahal and the Palace of Versailles.
Marble has been popular for its use in sculpture since classical times. In fact, the word ‘marble’ derives from the Ancient Greek mármaron, which means ‘crystalline rock, shining stone’. Light is able to penetrate several millimetres into marble before being scattered out, producing the characteristic ‘glow’ that seems to give life to sculptures.
The introduction of marble fireplaces
Marble fireplaces have been popular for hundreds of years. Marble has been highly prized as a material for fireplaces due to its softness - which makes it easier to carve - its strength, and, perhaps most of all, its elegance and air of luxury.
The oldest piece in our collection of antique marble fireplaces dates back to around 1460. This extremely rare chimneypiece is carved in Pietra d’Istria marble from the Istrian Peninsula near Venice, and is attributed to Giorgio da Sebenico, sculptor of the Duomo San Francesco, Cathedral of Ancona.
A taste for marble fireplaces
Marble fireplaces remained fashionable in Europe throughout the 15th and 16th Centuries and were particularly popular during the Georgian, Regency and Victorian eras.
The first half of the Georgian era saw marble fireplaces influenced heavily by the classical temple architecture of the Greeks and Romans. Halfway through the 18th Century, designer and architect Robert Adam revolutionised fireplace design with his neoclassical fireplaces.
Marble fireplaces were much sought-after during the Regency period, particularly those made from Statuary marble. However, the onset of the Napoleonic wars in 1803 made its cost prohibitive to all but the wealthiest, and largely restricted its use to grand public rooms.
From the early to mid Victorian era these fireplaces were typically very ornate, featuring intricate floral designs. Later Victorian fireplaces show a preference for simpler, more geometric designs.
Antique marble fireplaces
Antique marble fireplaces are still very much in demand, and it’s easy to see why. From the simplest to the most sumptuously extravagant, a marble fireplace can be tastefully integrated into either a traditional or modern room to make a beautiful and striking focal point.
Our collection of antique marble fireplaces is one of the most comprehensive in the world. A display spanning such a breadth of styles, periods and materials is unlikely to be found elsewhere.