A Good Pair of Georgian Architectural Figural Pilasters in the Form of Caryatids c.1780

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Origin: English
Period: George III
Provenance: Unknown
Date: c.1780
Height: 45 inches each
Width: 4.75 inches
Depth: 4.75 inches (all at maximum)

The beautifully carved fireplace figural pilasters each having a caryatid sculpted female mask with curled hair and headdress, wearing necklaces and showing their original charcoal green paint under mantle shelf pediments, survive from the George III period.

The overall condition of the pilasters is tired but wonderfully decorative, with some loss to the mouldings, especially to one mask with the nose and forehead section absent, and with much of the original paintwork flaked back with some remaining to the masks. One of the pilasters has its stylised leaf motif above the mask picked out in green still surviving, the other is lacking. There is old worm to the lengths in places but they are both still structurally solid. One pilaster has losses to the reverse with a section missing though overall they remain attractive pieces in their entirety. The lengths of the supports suggest they are originally from a fireplace surround, being the two opposing pilasters that would have 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 Towards the close of the eighteenth century the designs of the Adam Brothers superseded all others, and a century later they came again into fashion.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.

Super quality Georgian architectural decorative elements.

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