Antique French Grand Tour Onyx & Ormolu Obelisk 19th C
Antique French Grand Tour Onyx & Ormolu Obelisk 19th C
Antique French Grand Tour Onyx & Ormolu Obelisk 19th C
Antique French Grand Tour Onyx & Ormolu Obelisk 19th C
Antique French Grand Tour Onyx & Ormolu Obelisk 19th C
Antique French Grand Tour Onyx & Ormolu Obelisk 19th C

Antique French Grand Tour Onyx & Ormolu Obelisk 19th C

19th century France

Offered by Regent Antiques

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Listing Information
This is a fine antique French Grand Tour onyx obelisk c.1850 in date.

The obelisk features a pointed tall four-sided pillar which tapers to a pyramid-shaped top and sits on an ormolu galleried base decorated with anthemion and flaming torches that is raised on four lion's paw feet.

Add an elegant touch to your Grand Tour collection with this stunning obelisk.

In excellent condition having been cleaned in our workshops, please see photos for confirmation.

Dimensions in cm:
Height 35 x Width 8 x Depth 8

Dimensions in inches:
Height 13.8 x Width 3.1 x Depth 3.1

Onyx is formed of bands of chalcedony in alternating colours. It is cryptocrystalline, consisting of fine intergrowths of the silica minerals quartz and moganite. Its bands are parallel to one another, as opposed to the more chaotic banding that often occurs in agates.

Sardonyx is a variant in which the coloured bands are sard (shades of red) rather than black. Black onyx is perhaps the most famous variety, but is not as common as onyx with coloured bands. Artificial treatments have been used since ancient times to produce both the black colour in "black onyx" and the reds and yellows in sardonyx. Most "black onyx" on the market is artificially coloured.

Onyx is a gemstone found in various regions of the world including Yemen, Uruguay, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Germany, India, Indonesia, Madagascar, Latin America, the UK, and various states in the US.

It has a long history of use for hardstone carving and jewelry, where it is usually cut as a cabochon or into beads. It has also been used for intaglio and hardstone cameo engraved gems, where the bands make the image contrast with the ground. Some onyx is natural but much of the material in commerce is produced by the staining of agate.

Onyx was used in Egypt as early as the Second Dynasty to make bowls and other pottery items. Use of sardonyx appears in the art of Minoan Crete, notably from the archaeological recoveries at Knossos.

The Grand Tour was the traditional trip of Europe undertaken by mainly upper-class European young men of means. The custom flourished from about 1660 until the advent of large-scale rail transit in the 1840s, and was associated with a standard itinerary.

It served as an educational rite of passage. Though primarily associated with the British nobility and wealthy landed gentry, similar trips were made by wealthy young men of Protestant Northern European nations on the Continent, and from the second half of the 18th century some South American, U.S., and other overseas youth joined in. The tradition was extended to include more of the middle class after rail and steamship travel made the journey less of a burden.

The primary value of the Grand Tour, it was believed, lay in the exposure both to the cultural legacy of classical antiquity and the Renaissance, and to the aristocratic and fashionably polite society of the European continent. In addition, it provided the only opportunity to view specific works of art, and possibly the only chance to hear certain music. A grand tour could last from several months to several years. It was commonly undertaken in the company of a knowledgeable guide or tutor.

The Grand Tour not only provided a liberal education but allowed those who could afford it the opportunity to buy things otherwise unavailable at home, and it thus increased participants' prestige and standing. Grand Tourists would return with crates of art, books, pictures, sculpture, and items of culture, which would be displayed in libraries, cabinets, gardens, and drawing rooms, as well as the galleries built purposely for their display; The Grand Tour became a symbol of wealth and freedom.

Our reference: 09148
Height 35.00 cm (13.78 inches)
Width 8.00 cm (3.15 inches)
Depth 8.00 cm (3.15 inches)
Stock Code
Regent Antiques

Regent Antiques
Manor Warehouse
318 Green Lanes
N4 1BX

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