Click on the image to enlarge it


Shelf   74" Height  55 1/2"

Interior width   48" Interior height  45 3/4"

Sicilian Jasper and white Statuario Chimneypiece, circa 1790

A rare late 18th century chimneypiece of Jasper with an otherwise understated white marble setting which was found dismantled and abandoned in the roof space of an 18th century Edinburgh New Town house, where it was believed to have been an original fitting in a principal room.

Sicilian Jasper of this quality was much in demand for baroque Church interiors in the 17th and 18th centuries, the best examples being from quarries around the towns of Giuliana and Biascquino in Palermo Province. Supplies were dwindling by the late 18th century, and eventually exhausted altogether, but limited quantities were still being exported for prestigious interiors.

A fine timber and composition chimneypiece in a ground floor room at 25 Bedford Square, London, (circa 1778) has a good set of Jasper slips, while a pre-Revolutionary house in Charleston's South Battery, purchased and improved by Colonel William Washington, cousin of the first President, between 1785 and 1810, has an example believed to be very similar to the one shown here.