A magnificent Late 18th Century George III statuary marble & Blue John inlaid antique fireplace

A magnificent Late 18th Century George III statuary marble & Blue John inlaid antique fireplace

c. 1790 England

Offered by Jamb

£68,000 gbp
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The break fronted tiered shelf with plain, simple mouldings. The frieze is centred with a rectangular plague with an oval medallion of richly coloured Blue John, composed of four cleverly mirrored sections. This is flanked by panels inlaid with anthemion and inverted flower heads. The pilaster jambs with inverted anthemion and flower heads echoing those on the frieze, falling from tied bows. The caps above with stylised, flower heads, terminating with the end blockings which are decorated in high relief with cleverly matched lidded urns.

Blue John is a type of Fluor Spar and is only found at Treak Cliff, near Castleton, in
Derbyshire. The mine was first discovered 2000 years ago by the Romans, abandoned and
lost until it was reopened in the 18th.century. The stone was popularised by the architect Robert Adam (1728-1792) in the late 1760s and by the eminent manufacturer Matthew Bolton (1728 -1809).

Its name was originally derived from its dominate colour, just as Black Jack also found in the same mine was the name given by the miners to the zinc mineral Sphalerite. In the 18th. Century Blue John was also known as ‘radix amethysti’.

This beautiful stone has a radiating crystalline structure, with cubic crystals, and contains bands of blue and purple, intersected with other bands, which vary in colour from white or yellow to lighter blue. Occasionally it has patches of red or brown. The many different veins of the stone were classified into 14 main varieties. Colours could be lightened by the application of heat.

The lack of decorative sculpture on the mouldings, would indicate that this chimney piece was not made by one of the numerous Mason sculptors specialising in chimney pieces. The working of Blue John demanded a great deal of skill because it is soft and extremely brittle, and its colour could easily be spoilt by excessive heat and it was usually worked by highly trained lapidaries many based close to Castleton.
Height 1120.00 mm (44.09 inches)
Width 1230.00 mm (48.43 inches)
External Height 1540.00 mm (60.63 inches)
External Width 2000.00 mm (78.74 inches)
External Depth 240.00 mm (9.45 inches)
Stock Code
Carved Staruary and Blue John Marble

95–97 Pimlico Road,
United Kingdom

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