This year we launched our 2019 reproduction chimneypiece collection inspired from the antique chimneypieces we have owned with the intention to create mantels as they would have been crafted in the 18th Century, working with the most luxurious semi-precious materials and ensuring the highest quality of design and craftsmanship.
The Perfect Marriage between Jamb's Mantles and Marbles.
21 June 2019
Creating a mantle from blocks of Breche marble is the ultimate bespoke chimneypiece. There is nothing more unique. There will only ever be one. It can never be replicated. It is an authentic process, as it would have been, centuries ago. Once the block has been sourced, quarried from the side of an Italian mountain, it is only when you cut into the block that the true and complete beauty is revealed. I like surrendering to this process where the magic can only be revealed in the carving. It is something you don’t have complete control over.
We have selected large blocks of Breccia serravezza that we love to work with and can offer the best choice of colour for each reproduction design. We also always try to guide historically appropriate materials that correlate to design. Different materials through the 18th and 19th Centuries had different moments of favour. The general palate of the first half of the 18th Century was to use Grey Breches and English stones. Carrara also had significance and popularity. The latter part of the 18th Century favoured Sienna and Jasper marbles.
The Breche of the St James is a jewel of a material, an exclusive marble that we were able to source but is unlikely we will be able to get again. The marble is rarer than most, with its pistachio greens and tobacco browns. We believe it is the last of its kind and we have a little left in stock.
There are also times when we are asked to source a particular colour or type of veining and then we source directly from Italy. We are thrilled to be able to access the finest materials, including Derbyshire fossil from the Chatsworth estate as illustrated above with the Ashwell reproduction fireplace.
The choice of material can give an important hierarchy between several pieces throughout one property. The principle rooms often requiring more opulent or bolder tones than more intimate spaces which might suit a more muted palette. The drama and dynamism of breche marble often lends itself to more architectural carving, particularly in the early Georgian era when exotic marbles were very highly valued. In a design scheme where carving is not favoured, a strong marble can imbue a simple chimneypiece with the gravitas to hold a principle room.
I love marbles that are richly steeped in heritage and those that encompass fossils thousands of years old. For example the Occhio di Pavone. It is extraordinary if you think about it... that one can live alongside a geological ‘freeze -frame in time’ - an architectural centrepiece of natural history.