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The Doric Order with its boldness and robustness appealed to Chambers and his academic style, which was a sophisticated compound of French Neo-classicism and a refined English Palladianism, his chimney piece designs have a sculptural monumentality, that characterised his work. In his Treatise on Civil Architecture, published in 1759, which quickly became the standard work on the use of the Orders, superseding, Issac Ware's Complete body of Architecture, He writes " The Doric is next in strength to the Tuscan; and, being of a grave, robust and masculine aspect, is by Scamozzi called the Herculean, it is the most ancient of orders ". He illustrates the Roman Doric Order, (though the Greeks might have been the first to give convincing form to the elements of architecture, Chambers thought that the Romans had brought the art to perfection).
Chambers used his Doric chimney pieces through out all rooms, hall, (Paksted house, with bucranium mask), dining, (Gower house, London), bed (Milton Abbey, with five bucranium masks) of his buildings, unlike his rival Robert Adam who always used them only in entrance Halls. the only exception being one in the dining room at Osterly, which might have been designed by Chambers. We know of no extant chimney pieces with bucranium masks by Adam.
In the Victoria and Albert museum one of Chambers, Doric chimney piece designs has survived, This is pen and ink, pencil with grey and ivory washes, has an almost identical, bucranium, centre tablet (D 1260-18980) See illustration.
After Chambers return to England, from his grand Tour, he visited Holkham Hall, Norfolk, in 1755 and sketched, and annotated a bucranium decorated chimney piece after a design by Inigo Jones, no doubt the inspiration for him later, this is now in the Victoria Albert Museum. See illustration, (Franco Italian Album VAM 5712.426 page 32)
The attractive, Violet Brocatelle marble, with it's shades of violet and yellow, came from the Tortosa quarry in Spain which was opened in Antiquity and writing in his Treatise, (page 79), Chambers reports that " Chimney-pieces are composed of wood, stone or marble, the last of which is to be preferred. All ornaments, figures, or profiles, are best when of the pure white sort; other parts may be made of marbles of variegated colours; such as the yellow of Sienna and the Brocatello of Spain."
|Height||1105.00 mm||(43.50 inches)|
|Width||1194.00 mm||(47.01 inches)|
|External Height||1442.00 mm||(56.77 inches)|
|External Width||1934.00 mm||(76.14 inches)|
|External Depth||204.00 mm||(8.03 inches)|