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An exceptional English carved statuary marble chimneypiece and register grate
Early 19th Century with later elements, removed from the ballroom of a significant Queen Anne style house in Sunningdale Berkshire
the moulded rectangular shelf above the exquisitely carved frieze depicting frivolous putti chasing ho-ho birds on a field of scrolling foliate ornament and flanked by lion-mask patera end-blocks, the jambs carved in relief with female caryatids bearing aloft baskets of fruit and flowers, raised on block feet; the George III polished cast iron register grate with beaded trim around the engraved running border and railed basket with urn surmounts and pierced steel apron,
LASSCO saved this fireplace during the demolition of a fine Edwardian house next to the revered Sunningdale golf course. The chimneypiece pre-dated the house. It had stood as a show-piece to the apse-ended ballroom that had probably been added to the 1905 house between the wars. As such, there is every likelihood that this chimneypiece was purchased from a Mayfair antiques dealer or perhaps Crowthers of Syon Lodge who were very active in such salvage and a prime resource in that era. Research continues.
The workmanship on the original frieze is of the highest calibre and may well have been executed by Italian craftsmen as it has Northern Italian influences in its style, execution and construction.
There are at least two phases of restoration. The first must be attributed to the Sunningdale ballroom installation where the jambs were replaced, for reasons we do not know, but they were re-carved to match the frieze. It may well be that the chimneypiece was being re-formatted to match the Adam style register grate which itself is a fabulous piece. The second phase has been undertaken at LASSCO as first vandals in the empty house and then demolition works had left the fireplace in a sorry state. The frieze, endblocks and a jamb were carefully restored and cleaned. One jamb and the shelf have been recarved.
Brought back from the brink this fireplace is of an impressive scale, beautifully carved and rare and worth all the effort that we have put into the saving of it!