A George II Neo-Palladian mantelpiece in white veined Carrara and statuary marble, based on a design by William Kent (1685–1748).
With breakfront shelf above the statuary frieze which is an oblong plaque, which drops into the frame of the architrave. This is well sculpted and centred with deeply carved mask of Flora, the ancient Roman goddess of flowers and spring. Her hair is entwined with small flowers and large fully bloomed flower heads are angled over her ears, from these hang swags of further flowers upheld at the other ends by lush flower covered hooks. There are flanked at the end by blockings of corbel brackets. The veined Carrara, architectural archive frame with squared moulded and panelled dog-legged shoulders, the pilaster moulded jambs with s-shaped side consoles with acanthus decorated volutes – all upheld by footblocks.
William Kent’s design for this chimneypiece was illustrated in “The plans, evaluations and sections of Hougthon in Norfolk” printed in 1735, plate 31, for Isaac Ware, (1704–1766). An almost identical chimneypiece in statuary marble was designed by Kent, for General James Dormer, between 1738 and 1741, and was illustrated in situ at Rousham, by M. Jourdian in “William Kent”, fig. 80, p. 139. Similar chimneypiece examples can be found at Holkham and Houghton both after Kent’s design.
Height 65 7/8 in (167.5cm) width 69 1/2 in (176.4cm)
Internal height 43 1/4 in (109.7cm) width 43 1/8 in (109.5cm)
Footblock to footblock 71 in (180.5cm)
Shelf depth 13 in (23cm)