It was under our noses all along! It took the sharp eye, faith, expertise and vigorous scraping of Mr Peter Hone to spot it. The keystone of the 18th Century carved Portland doorcase by Sir William Chambers is made of Coade Stone. The doorcase is for sale here at The Three Pigeons. This discovery may not be exciting to everyone but 18th Century Coade Stone is rare, highly sought after and venerated.
Mr Hone a Coade expert and lifelong enthusiast gets very excited when he finds some.
The doorcase – forcibly removed during the Second World War by the Luftwaffe – was designed by Chambers for his own house that he was building in Berners Street, Westminster in 1769. That was also the year that the 36 year old Eleanor Coade founded the business making what was to be her celebrated artificial stone to a closely guarded secret recipe. So the keystone is a very early model and not one that Peter has seen before. Coade did supply balustrading and other ornament during the contemporaneous completion of Somerset house – Chamber's best known masterpiece. Research continues.
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