A Carved & Painted Pine George III Period Mourning Monument Urn c.1800

Origin: English
Period: George III
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1800
Height: 32”
Width: 12.5”
Depth: 12.5” (all at extremities)

The beautifully carved large painted pine mourning monument in the form of a classical urn carved with flowing drapery, having an iron cap finial, scrollwork handle and incised banded decoration, the whole standing on a later square stepped plinth base and surviving from George III period England.

The patina to the paint is beautiful with an aged craquelure, with some small losses showing the timber beneath and some shrinkage cracks to the lower section. The tiered base is a later addition and the paint has been matched in although it obviously lacks the patina to the main section and could be removed if so desired. Please view all of the photographs for a full visual reference. This would have been part of a larger composition, probably involving an angel.

The quality to the carving here is good with the drapery in particular with a superb fluidity. It’s not that often at all that one sees period monuments available for sale, for obvious reasons. This monument would have been commemorating the death of a well-loved and socially important person in the Georgian age and this period saw a revived interest in classical Greece leading to the prevalence of the draped in urn in cemetery symbolism. As this example is in wood it may well have stood in a sheltered location, with those intended for exterior use being in marble or stone, in fact it is unusual to see one in timber.

Any object draped tends to indicate mourning, whilst an urn typically represents the soul, or immortality. The drape can also be an allusion to the 'veil' between this world and the next. As burial became a more customary ritual, the urn was one of the most common of monuments, representing the body as a vessel of the soul and its return to dust while the spirit of the departed eternally rested with God. An urn draped with cloth, as we see here, represents the last partition between life and death. The cloth or shroud draping an urn symbolically guards the ashes as the soul departs the body for its trip to heaven. The drape can also stand for the protective nature of God over the dead and their remains, until the Resurrection occurs.

A strong decorators piece with beautiful meaning.