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Top Half of Chimney Breast

Decorative Arts

On View: American Art Galleries, 5th Floor, Visions and Myths of a Nation, 1800–1890
In 1882 John Sloane, a partner in the New York furniture retailer W. & J. Sloane, paid Herter Brothers $16,075 for the decoration of his Fifth Avenue mansion. The library’s woodwork and furniture, and much of its contents—paintings and objects—are preserved in the Museum. This mantel is rendered in the Jacobean Revival style, inspired by the arts of sixteenth-century England. Herter Brothers not only made the woodwork and furniture, but also supplied other decorative elements, including the elaborate curtains, objects, and imported French fireplace accoutrements such as the brass sconces, clock garniture, and fire screen.
MAKER Unknown
MEDIUM Mahogany, mirrored glass
DATES ca. 1881
DIMENSIONS Overall mantel (41.980.72a-e): 129 x 100 1/4 x 12 5/16 in. (327.7 x 254.6 x 31.3 cm)
COLLECTIONS Decorative Arts
ACCESSION NUMBER 41.980.72b
CREDIT LINE Gift of Mrs. William E. S. Griswold in memory of her father, John Sloane
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Top half of chimney breast from mantel (41.980.72a-e); consists of three tall, narrow, arched mirrors set within elaborate mahogany framework. Each mirror has beveled edge and consists of two parts surrounded by copper trim: main rectangular section below a semi-circle. Molded wooden frame around each mirror and spandrels carved in relief with acanthus leaves and decorative scroll work. Mirrors set between four fanciful columns: columns have elaborate urn-shaped capital with acanthus leaf decorations, fluted shaft, and tall cylindrical base with beading around top and acanthus leaves around bottom that "sprout" straight stem with round, dimpled buds of alternating heights. [Photograph shows mantle in its original location, the library of the house of John Sloane, 883 Fifth Avenue, New York City, decorated by Herter Brothers, 1881-82.]
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