With the start of the New Year we have changed around the Jamb showroom to showcase additions to our antique fireplacesand antique furniture. I wanted to write about the pieces below that are monumental and architectural in nature – the essence of the English Country House aesthetic.
New Year, New Antique Fireplaces and Furniture
15 January 2016
We have had many over scaled Chimneypieces in our collection over the years, but it is always exciting when you stand an Antique example of this size. This Palladian Architectural English Chimneypiece with its classic mix of marbles is absolutely of the period. It is very rare to find a surround of this era retaining the over mantle structure constructed of compatible yet varied marbles: Bardiglio, statuary and Carrara. When I bought it, the central panel had a later plaster relief which we remade as it would have originally been in marble.
I love its architectural form; the fact that it’s monumental and yet when you look at each element the quality of execution is exquisite. Visually it is incredibly masculine, but the detail is unbelievably refined.
This magnificent table commissioned by the second Earl of Mountnorris for Arley Castle, Worcestershire is designed in the fashionable Gothic style, which was popularised by Augustus Pugin from the 1830’s.
I have never seen a finer example and is probably as important a circular table as you will ever get. It is completely untouched with a segmented top, veneered in beautifully figured Pollard Oak timber centred with a rounded inset. The colour is perfection. Each individual part of the table has outstanding craftsmanship from the shaped and stepped octagonal base with faceted panels, to the column rests on brass castors stamped Lewty patent.
Arley Castle with its views of the Severn Valley and the Wyre Forest originated in the 16th century. It was In 1843-44, the last year of his life, that the 2nd Earl of Mountnorris added an enormous Gothic castle designed by Richard Varden of Worcester (1812-73) and J. Varden. At the same time the old wing was completely refurbished and only the two staircases – one Elizabethan, the other Jacobean remained from the original building.
Arley was sold to the Woodward family in 1852 and Sir Chad Woodward donated the table to Bramshill House in Hampshire in 1955 from whence it remained for the next sixty years till the present day. Sadly most of the Arley estate was demolished in the early 60’s with only part of the gatehouse surviving. Often chimneypieces andfurniture are the only legacy that remains from these grand estates.
With its full nine foot diameter when fully extended it is one of the grandest tables ever to have been made.
This is a fine example of an 18th century, eight foot screen. Manufactured in China, it would have been specialy made for export. The European market at that time was fascinated by the exotic and the quest for knowledge of the orient was satisfied by these pieces. The fivefold screen, gilt lacquer decorated, colloquially known as Chinoiserie is as super decorative as it gets.
It is glorious with its tonal perfection and interesting how it depicts everyday life of China in the 18th Century.
I am very excited by the change in the showroom with the six antique fireplace additions amongst the antique furniture and Jamb reproduction collection. I do hope you will brave the cold weather and come and see us.