A very fine and perfectly proportioned Statuary and Sienna marble chimneypiece in the manner of James Wyatt 1746 - 1813, architect to King George III.
The chimneypiece has a beautifully sculpted, inlaid frieze centred with an exquisitely carved tablet depicting a central classical urn hung with flower-bud festoons and flanked by two classical muses. Almost identical tablets by James Wyatt can be seen on the chimneypieces at Heveningham Hall, Suffolk completed in 1799. The frieze panels, either side of the tablet, are inlaid with richly figured Convent Siena marble and overlaid by finely carved roundels depicting musical instruments and centred with classical vases spilling over with fruits, berries and leaves repeated on the end blocks. The bed moulding beneath the frieze is carved with stylised anthemion motifs on trailing stems.
The frieze is supported by attached Ionic columns of finely figured Sienna marble. The chimneypiece is surmounted by a break fronted shelf, the leading edge carved with a bead and reel decoration beneath which is a layer of dentil moulding inlaid with Sienna marble. (Shown together with Register Grate SNo 12910, Andirons SNo 12867 & a pair of Firetools not included in the price.)
English, circa 1880.
Removed from Crowe Hall, a restored Regency Grade II Listed property, near Bath in Somerset, England. The Hall built around 1780 for a Brigadier Crowe was restored after a serious fire in 1926, requisitioned by the Admiralty during World War II and bought in 1961 by Sir Sydney Barratt (1898-1975), the eminent physicist, inventor, industrialist and art connoisseur.
Sir Sydney had inherited from his father a life long passion for The Arts and by 1961 had amassed a superb Collection of mostly 18th century pieces with which he filled the rooms of The Hall replacing the more flamboyant Victorian fire surround in the entrance hall with this exquisite chimneypiece. Sir Sydney died in 1975 and his son John, also a passionate connoisseur of The Arts, took over the stewardship of the Hall. When he died in 2005 the greater part of The Collection was sold at auction at Christie's.
Link to a section showing full range of similar/related neo-classical chimneypieces