George III Scagliola Inlaid Carrara Marble Chimneypiece
George III Scagliola Inlaid Carrara Marble Chimneypiece

George III Scagliola Inlaid Carrara Marble Chimneypiece

18th century Ireland

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A George III scagliola inlaid Carrara marble chimney piece Irish, late 18th century, attributed to Pietro Bossi.
Relatively little is known of Pietro Bossi, although much inlay work of the late 18th Century is commonly known as ‘Bossi-work’. An Italian craftsman, Bossi worked in Dublin from 1785 to 1798 and used coloured marble inlay and also a coloured paste inlay, known as scagliola, on a white marble ground. He is listed in the Dublin Directories as an ‘Inlayer in marble and Stucco Worker’ at 22 Fleet Street in 1787-98.

Bossi’s process was a closely guarded secret and was apparently carried out behind closed doors. He left Dublin in 1798 under a cloud of suspicion implicating him with the revolutionary movement.

Although there were other craftsmen producing this type of work, the present chimney piece can be attributed to Bossi because it shares some distinctive decoration with other pieces strongly believed to be by him. Precisely the same design motifs are found in a chimney piece in North Great George Street, Dublin, which is illustrated on p.168 of Conor O’Neil’s article “In Search of Bossi”, Irish Architectural and Decorative Stuidies, The Journal of The Irish Society, Volume 1.

The chimney piece is in excellent condition overall with vibrantly coloured inlay or “Bossi” work to the jamb panels and frieze, which feature foliate decoration, and the corner blockings, which display classical urns in a unique combination of the neo-classical and naturalistic, which characterises much of the work of Bossi. The depth of colour and condition of the inlay work are remarkable for a chimney piece of this period and bely it’s antiquity. The plinth blocks and corniced mantel shelf are later replacements.
Height 1422.00 mm (55.98 inches)
Width 1651.00 mm (65.00 inches)
Stock Code

194 - 200 Battersea Park Road
SW11 4ND

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