A Finely Carved George III Period Marble Mourning Monument c.1800

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Origin: English
Period: George III
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1800
Height: 23”
Width: 12.5”
Depth: 15.5” (all at extremities)
Weight: 92.5 KGS

The beautifully carved large and weighty solid marble mourning monument, depicting a kneeling figure of a lady wearing a shrouded cloak her hands covering a large urn, carved with lotus leaves and a central wreath in the high Georgian manner, the hands guarding the ashes as the soul departs the body for its trip to heaven, the whole standing on an integral square bases and surviving from George III period England and an unknown cemetery.

Part of the appeal of this figure for us, is the lack of the head, lost in antiquity, giving it an air of mystery. The condition of the rest of the whole is pleasing with a good even spread of weathering commensurate with exposure to the elements giving her an evocative all round character and colour. The white shimmering crystals of the marble can be seen through where there are small chips and losses with the rear foot having loss also. Please view all of the photographs for a full visual reference.

The quality to the carving here is very high 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.

Indeed, anything 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 beautifully carved piece that leads us to consider the passageway from the living to the dead and a wonderful decorators piece.

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