A Beautiful Carved & Painted Georgian Gesso & Pine Architectural Fireplace Surround Pilaster


Origin: English
Period: Late Eighteenth / Early Nineteenth Century
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1790-1810
Height: 71 inches
Width: 9.5 inches
Depth: 6 inches (all at maximum)

The large architecturally themed painted pine and profusely gesso decorated pilaster having a putti mask over fruit bunches and acanthus leaves under a top mantle shelf pediment.

The overall condition is tired but wonderfully decorative, with some loss to the gesso mouldings and flaking to the paint, with both white and a French grey green present. There is a hook attachment to the reverse now present for wall mounting. The length of the support suggests it is originally from a large fireplace surround, being one of the two symmetrical pilasters that would have been attached to the legs that supported the top shelf mantelpiece.

In the eighteenth century, the architects returned to the Inigo Jones classic type, but influenced by the French work of Louis XIV. and XV. Figure sculpture, generally represented by graceful figures on each side, which assisted to carry the shelf, was introduced, and the over-mantel developed into an elaborate frame for the family portrait over the chimneypiece. Towards the close of the eighteenth century the designs of the Adam Brothers superseded all others, and a century later they came again into fashion. The Adam mantels are in wood enriched with ornament, cast in molds, sometimes copied from the carved wood decoration of old times. Mantels or fireplace mantels can be the focus of custom interior decoration. Pilasters themselves have a numerous deign benefits. Strong vertical lines of the pilasters adding stately look to the interior as well making the room appear higher. Projecting face and structural appearance of the pilasters add extra layer of architectural details to the room.

Once part of a grand fireplace this is now a standalone evocative segment of decorative decadence.