From Black to Bleu
Those of you who read our blogs and Facebook posts regularly may be familiar with the history of Kilkenny marble but, for others – and also because we always find it interesting – here is a brief background about this superb stone.
Kilkenny is known as the Marble City, due to the black limestone used on many of the pavements and buildings. The stone is sourced from the Black Quarry just outside the city and, when polished by wear and tear, becomes smooth and shiny, reflecting the street lights beautifully. If you look carefully you can still see fossils in the slabs on the High Street.
With its characteristic shine and intense colour, Kilkenny marble is perfect for the creation of large and imposing pieces such as this antique Irish surround with a provenance that can be traced to the home of Captain Tony Bulger in Rathvilly, County Carlow.
The jambs, with moulded panels and carved corbels, are supported on separate foot blocks and the inverted inner slips are deeper than is typical of this early 19th century design. A moulded, panelled frieze and simple edged mantle add the finishing touch to this handsome, Irish chimney piece.
Another large, and simply designed surround in our inventory is this English, William IV fireplace.
In Bleu Fleuri marble – quarried in Serravezza, Italy, and characterised by its grey/blue colour with deep grey veining – it is a very impressive antique surround that would serve as a marvellous centrepiece.
The various shades of Bleu Fleuri marble are dependent, not only on the quarry from which it was extracted, but also on the methods used to break the blocks from the mountain, and it is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful marbles to come from Serravezza.
Considered by many as an opulent choice of stone, Bleu Fleuri was used to create the fireplace in the sleeping chambers at Chateau de Compiegne; a residence built for Louis XV and later restored by Napoleon.
See other images of these fireplaces on our products page.