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Lower Portion 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, marble, brass
DATES ca. 1881
DIMENSIONS Overall mantel (41.980.72a-e): 129 x 100 1/4 x 12 1/2 in. (327.7 x 254.6 x 31.8 cm)
COLLECTIONS Decorative Arts
ACCESSION NUMBER 41.980.72c
CREDIT LINE Gift of Mrs. William E. S. Griswold in memory of her father, John Sloane
CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Lower portion of chimney breast from mantel (41.980.72a-e). Brass frame surrounds fireplace opening has cornice along top edge and stepped molding around sides; surrounding frame is smooth green marble with white and black veining. Marble set within elaborately carved mahogany chimney breast made from separate carved and joined sections of wood: general rectangular shape with small recesses rectangular panels running horizontally at sides and also framing fireplace. In upper corners (below mantelpiece), recessed section with small rounded shelf. Thick mantelpiece with bowed front and rounded corners; front edge carved with decorative border of double dot alternating with inverted teardrop shape. Mantelpiece supported by brackets carved with scrolled ends and acanthus leaves: two large brackets at corners and six smaller brackets. [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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