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French & Italian


An Istrian Stone Chimneypiece with Grotesque Decoration and a Central Portrait Medallion

A finely carved 19th century Italian chimneypiece beautifully executed by hand in Istrian stone. The simple breakfront shelf with a dentil cornice is carved in a single piece with the frieze. This is richly carved with floral motifs and Grotesque masks on the cornerblocks. The medallion at centre shows the portrait in profile of a soldier. Similar foliate motifs continue on the jambs. The present chimneypiece is a 19th century re-interpretation of an earlier Renaissance theme, where the carving is consistent with its period counterpart, however it is diminutive in scale making it appropriate for a domestic setting. The ornamental design of this piece recalls the fantastical creatures in fifteenth and sixteenth century grotesque decorations, which fashioned after frescos that were found during the excavations of Emperor Nero's Domus Aurea in Rome around 1500.

Height 55⅛in (140cm) width 65⅜in (166cm)
Internal height 44¾in (113.5cm) width 49⅜in (125.5cm)
Shelf depth 5½in (14cm)