Speak with an expert today
+44 20 8809 9605

Antique Pair Grand Tour Convent Siena Marble Obelisks C.1890

Antique Pair Grand Tour Convent Siena Marble Obelisks
Click on image to zoom
  • Antique Pair Grand Tour Convent Siena Marble Obelisks
  • Antique Pair Grand Tour Convent Siena Marble Obelisks
  • Antique Pair Grand Tour Convent Siena Marble Obelisks
  • Antique Pair Grand Tour Convent Siena Marble Obelisks
  • Antique Pair Grand Tour Convent Siena Marble Obelisks
  • Antique Pair Grand Tour Convent Siena Marble Obelisks
  • Antique Pair Grand Tour Convent Siena Marble Obelisks
  • Antique Pair Grand Tour Convent Siena Marble Obelisks
  • Antique Pair Grand Tour Convent Siena Marble Obelisks
  • Antique Pair Grand Tour Convent Siena Marble Obelisks
  • Antique Pair Grand Tour Convent Siena Marble Obelisks
  • Antique Pair Grand Tour Convent Siena Marble Obelisks
Ref:08474
Price: £1,050.00
Question about item

For weekly notifications of new arrivals in your categories of interest please click HERE.

Our London showrooms Open Mon to Fri 10am - 5pm Open Sat 16th December 10am - 4pm
A stunning pair of Convent Siena marble 'Grand Tour' obelisks dating from the late 19th century.

The pair are carved from the finest Convent Siena marble and feature tapering bodies raised on four square stepped bases.

Provenance:
The collection of the late Ronnie Kirkwood and George Dixon.

The finish and attention to detail throughout are fantastic.

Condition:

In excellent condition, please see photos for confirmation.

Dimensions in cm:

Height 36 x Width 8 x Depth 8

Dimensions in inches:

Height 1 foot, 2 inches x Width 3 inches x Depth 3 inches

Convent Siena Marble
The mining rights to this marble (also known as Siena Brocatello) were given by the Pope to a religious order of nuns in the late middle ages, hence the name.

It is very rich, with deeper colours and more intense veining than standard Siena, and was often used for inlaid marble work as well as table tops. It can be seen in 18th century marble fireplaces, in the form of small columns and frieze panels. 


The Grand Tour
was the traditional trip of Europe undertaken by mainly upper-class European young men of means. The custom flourished from about 1660 until the advent of large-scale rail transit in the 1840s, and was associated with a standard itinerary.

It served as an educational rite of passage. Though primarily associated with the British nobility and wealthy landed gentry, similar trips were made by wealthy young men of Protestant Northern European nations on the Continent, and from the second half of the 18th century some South American, U.S., and other overseas youth joined in. The tradition was extended to include more of the middle class after rail and steamship travel made the journey less of a burden.

The primary value of the Grand Tour, it was believed, lay in the exposure both to the cultural legacy of classical antiquity and the Renaissance, and to the aristocratic and fashionably polite society of the European continent. In addition, it provided the only opportunity to view specific works of art, and possibly the only chance to hear certain music. A grand tour could last from several months to several years. It was commonly undertaken in the company of a knowledgeable guide or tutor

The Grand Tour not only provided a liberal education but allowed those who could afford it the opportunity to buy things otherwise unavailable at home, and it thus increased participants' prestige and standing. Grand Tourists would return with crates of art, books, pictures, sculpture, and items of culture, which would be displayed in libraries, cabinets, gardens, and drawing rooms, as well as the galleries built purposely for their display; The Grand Tour became a symbol of wealth and freedom.
 
Obelisks
were prominent in the architecture of the ancient Egyptians, who placed them in pairs at the entrance of temples. The word "obelisk" as used in English today is of Greek rather than Egyptian origin because Herodotus, the Greek traveller, was one of the first classical writers to describe the objects. A number of ancient Egyptian obelisks are known to have survived, plus the "Unfinished Obelisk" found partly hewn from its quarry at Aswan. These obelisks are now dispersed around the world, and fewer than half of them remain in Egypt.

The earliest temple obelisk still in its original position is the 68-foot (20.7 m) 120-metric-ton red granite Obelisk of Senusret I of the XIIth Dynasty at Al-Matariyyah in modern Heliopolis.
The obelisk symbolized the sun god Ra, and during the brief religious reformation of Akhenaten was said to be a petrified ray of the Aten, the sundisk. It was also thought that the god existed within the structure.
Benben was the mound that arose from the primordial waters Nu upon which the creator god Atum settled in the creation story of the Heliopolitan creation myth form of Ancient Egyptian religion. The Benben stone is the top stone of the Egyptian pyramid. It is also related to the Obelisk.

It is hypothesized by New York University Egyptologist Patricia Blackwell Gary and Astronomy senior editor Richard Talcott that the shapes of the ancient Egyptian pyramid and obelisk were derived from natural phenomena associated with the sun (the sun-god Ra being the Egyptians' greatest deity). The pyramid and obelisk might have been inspired by previously overlooked astronomical phenomena connected with sunrise and sunset: the zodiacal light and sun pillars respectively.

The Ancient Romans were strongly influenced by the obelisk form, to the extent that there are now more than twice as many obelisks standing in Rome as remain in Egypt. All fell after the Roman period except for the Vatican obelisk and were re-erected in different locations.
The largest standing and tallest Egyptian obelisk is the Lateran Obelisk in the square at the west side of the Lateran Basilica in Rome at 105.6 feet (32.2 m) tall and a weight of 455 metric tons (502 short tons).

Not all the Egyptian obelisks in the Roman Empire were set up at Rome. Herod the Great imitated his Roman patrons and set up a red granite Egyptian obelisk in the hippodrome of his new city Caesarea in northern Judea. This one is about 40 feet (12 m) tall and weighs about 100 metric tons . It was discovered by archaeologists and has been re-erected at its former site.

In Constantinople, the Eastern Emperor Theodosius shipped an obelisk in AD 390 and had it set up in his hippodrome, where it has weathered Crusaders and Seljuks and stands in the Hippodrome square in modern Istanbul. This one stood 95 feet (29 m) tall and weighing 380 metric tons.. Its lower half reputedly also once stood in Istanbul but is now lost. 

Angelica Kauffman, RA (1741 - 1807)

was a Swiss-born Austrian Neoclassical painter who had a successful career in London and Rome. Though born as "Kauffmann", Kauffman is the preferred spelling of her name in English; it is the form she herself used most in signing her correspondence, documents and paintings.

While Kauffman produced many types of art, she identified herself primarily as a history painter, an unusual designation for a woman artist in the 18th century. History painting, was considered the most elite and lucrative category in academic painting during this time period. Under the direction of Sir Joshua Reynolds, the Royal Academy made a strong effort to promote history painting to a native audience who were more interested in commissioning and buying portraits and landscapes.

Despite the popularity that Kauffman enjoyed in British society and her success as an artist, she was disappointed by the relative apathy that the British had towards history painting. Ultimately she left Britain for the continent, where history painting was better established, held in higher esteem and patronized.

The works of Angelica Kauffman have retained their reputation. By 1911, rooms decorated with her work were still to be seen in various quarters. At Hampton Court was a portrait of the duchess of Brunswick; in the National Portrait Gallery, a self-portrait. There were other pictures by her at Paris, at Dresden, in the Hermitage at St Petersburg, in the Alte Pinakothek atMunich, in Kadriorg Palace, Tallinn (Estonia).

Satinwood

is a hard and durable wood with a satinlike sheen, much used in cabinetmaking, especially in marquetry. It comes from two tropical trees of the family Rutaceae (rue family). East Indian or Ceylon satinwood is the yellowish or dark-brown heartwood of Chloroxylon swietenia.

The lustrous, fine-grained, usually figured wood is used for furniture, cabinetwork, veneers, and backs of brushes. West Indian satinwood, sometimes called yellow wood, is considered superior. It is the golden yellow, lustrous, even-grained wood found in the Florida Keys and the West Indies.

It has long been valued for furniture. It is also used for musical instruments, veneers, and other purposes. Satinwood is classified in the division Magnoliophyta, class Magnoliopsida, order Sapindales, family Rutaceae.

Our reference: 08474

Please feel free to email or call us (+44 20 8809 9605) to arrange a viewing in our North London warehouse.

Shipping:

We ship worldwide and deliver to Mainland UK addresses free of charge.

A shipping cost to all other destinations must be requested prior to purchase.

To request a shipping quote for the items in your cart, please click HERE.

Delivery and return policy:

We require that someone be home on the agreed delivery day if applicable, otherwise a redelivery fee will apply.

In accordance with Distance Selling Regulations, we offer a 14-day money back guarantee if you are not satisfied with the item.

The item must be returned in its original packaging and condition.

Unless the item is not as described in a material way, the buyer is responsible for return shipping expenses.

Buyers are fully responsible for any customs duties or local taxes that may be incurred on items sent outside of the European Union.