A Fine Quality c.1900 Marble Bust of a Gentleman Draped as a Roman Nobleman from Cairness House

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Origin: English
Period: Late Nineteenth / Early Twentieth Century
Provenance: Cairness House, Aberdeenshire
Date: c.1890-1910
Diameter at Socle: 10 inches
Depth: 14 inches
Width: 21 inches
Height: 30.5 inches (all at extremities)

The beautifully carved heavy quality large weathered marble bust draped as a bald Roman nobleman or senator with a placid expression, the whole on an integral socle, surviving from the zeniths of the nineteenth century and formally part of the estate at Cairness House, Aberdeenshire, UK.

The bust has some weathering from being sat part sheltered outside the house, with some lichen forming on the busts breast. The whole is in splendid condition with no losses or cracks. It is very heavy so would need a suitable resting point.

Cairness House, 4 miles (6.4 km) south of Fraserburgh in the County of Aberdeenshire, is a country house in Buchan built in the Neoclassical style. It was constructed between 1791 and 1797 to designs by architect James Playfair and replaced an earlier house of 1781 by Robert Burn, which was in part incorporated into the Playfair scheme. Sir John Soane assisted in the final stages of the construction following Playfair’s death in 1794. The park was laid out by Thomas White, a follower of Lancelot 'Capability' Brown. Considered one of the finest examples of Neoclassical architecture in Britain, Cairness House shows the influence of the French architects Étienne-Louis Boullée and Claude Nicholas Ledoux and has many parallels with the works of Sir John Soane. The design incorporates a complex mixture of Masonic and pagan symbols as well as many numerological and architectural conceits.

The interiors are boldly Neoclassical with fine examples of simulated marble walls, pendentive or coffered ceilings and Greek key friezes. The Egyptian Room was the first of its kind in Britain and contains elaborate hieroglyph plasterwork. The Entrance Hall features a columbarium fireplace with anthemion antefixes. This bust would have worked wonderfully well with this type of interior.

Imposing sculpture of the highest country house standard.

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