An Irish George III white statuary marble and brocatelle marble chimney-piece
Lot 56
An Irish George III white statuary marble and brocatelle marble chimney-piece
£25,000 - 35,000
US$ 39,000 - 55,000

Lot Details
An Irish George III white statuary marble and brocatelle marble chimney-piece
In the manner of Darley, the moulded inverted breakfront shelf above a paterae and bell-flower swag inlaid frieze, the central tablet carved with an urn with a sphinx-decorated top hung with ribbon-tied swags, the aperture surmounted by a border of alternate fluting and paterae, flanked by tapering jambs carved with urns and ribbon-tied drapery reserved with brocatelle marble, minor restorations and replacements, 194cm wide, 154cm high (76in wide, 60.5in high). aperture 119cm square (47in.).

Footnotes

  • The present chimney-piece relates to designs by the marble mason firm George Hill, and Arthur Darley. A chimney-piece attributed to the same makers was offered Bonhams London, 19 October 2011, lot 107. Besides similar proportion, parallels between the two lots include the brocatelle ground to the jambs, similar fluted and ribbon tied ornament and related urn motif capitals.

    George, Hill and Arthur Darley were cousins and came from a family tradition of marble masons, starting in the 17th century. The Darley's are listed in Wilson's Dublin Directory as stone-cutters in the latter decades of the eighteenth century through to the first decade of the 19th century. From the 1783 edition they are listed at 5 Mercer Street, Dublin, from 1786-1798 both George and Hill Darley are listed at that address. A 'Mr Darley' was a subscriber to the First Volume of the instructions given in the Drawing School established by the Dublin-Society (Dublin 1769). They worked for prominent clients including the Italian Ambassador's residence at Lucan House and William Ashford of Sandymount in 1788-9.

    There are approximately seventy watercolours of chimney-pieces by the firm held at the Royal Irish Academy of Dublin. The example here reflects the practice for Darley's clients to choose aspects of several drawings to combine together for the desired completed article.
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