An English Regency, white statuary, black and Portoro Nero antique marble fireplace mantel in the Greek revival style. Early 19th century.
The rectangular shelf with tiered mouldings above the frieze which is centred with a black and gold panel, sandwiched between white mouldings and flanked by well-carved blockings in white marble with three face masks, centred with a well- carved head of Pallas Athena (Minerva) the goddess of wisdom with her hair entwined with snakes. To either side are profiles of two Athenian philosophers, Plato and Socrates. Comparable portraits can be found on the Warwick vase, a Roman artefact discovered in 1771 at Hadrian’s villa at Tivoli. These are upheld by pilaster shaped jambs with central vertical panels of Portoro Nero marble flanked by white which in turn are flanked by black marble panels edged in white. The whole resting on statuary rectangular, nicely patinated foot blocks with scars caused by a metal fire guard.
Height 48 in (121.9cm) width 68 3/4 in (174.6cm)
Internal height 40 1/8 in (102.1cm) width 43 1/8 in (109.5cm)
Shelf depth 10 1/2 in (26.7cm)