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A large English Rococo Revival White Carrara marble chimneypiece,
the serpentine shelf above frieze of leaves, flowers and scrolls carved in deep relief, flanked by acanthus detail above scallop shell motif, leading to scrolled and panelled jambs terminating with further acanthus detail, on square shaped double foot blocks.
A similar fireplace can be found in The Waterloo Gallery of Apsley House, otherwise known as Number One, London. Originally designed by Robert Adam for Lord Apsley in the 1770’s, it was remodelled by Benjamin Wyatt for the Duke of Wellington initially in 1819, with later alterations starting in 1828 which included a new staircase, portico, façade, and the addition of the aforementioned gallery where the annual Waterloo banquets still take place.
The fact that Wyatt’s chimneypiece designs have been found just over a mile away in Carlton Gardens is not without coincidence. The first occupant of 3 Carlton Gardens was Charles Arbuthnot, politician, diplomat, and confidant of the Duke – one can imagine that having discussed heavyweight political issues the two friends moved onto lighter subjects such as the interior design of their respective dwellings, and the benefits of a distinguished chimneypiece!
Wyatt’s influence on the area surrounding Carlton Gardens did not end here – he designed the monumental Tuscan granite column on which a bronze statue of the Duke of York sits in Waterloo Place and specified a number of the interiors of Lancaster House.
Arbuthnot was not the only or last political figure to reside at Number 3; from 1940-1944 the leader of ‘Free France’, future president and influential politician Charles de Gaulle lived here whilst in exile from the then government. It was during this time that he made his famed ‘Appeal of 18 June’ speech.
Charles de Gaulle in his office at the Free France HQ, 3 Carlton Gardens, standing next to the LASSCO chimneypiece.