George III Marble and Blue John Dolphin Tazza
George III Marble and Blue John Dolphin Tazza George III Marble and Blue John Dolphin Tazza George III Marble and Blue John Dolphin Tazza George III Marble and Blue John Dolphin Tazza George III Marble and Blue John Dolphin Tazza George III Marble and Blue John Dolphin Tazza George III Marble and Blue John Dolphin Tazza
George III Marble and Blue John Dolphin Tazza

George III Marble and Blue John Dolphin Tazza

  • This exceptional tazza is attributed to famed Georgian architect Sir William Chambers
  • Carved from marble, the base takes the shape of a Neoclassical stylized dolphin
  • Rare specimens of Derbyshire Blue John are inset into the plinth and bowl
  • In both materials and design, it is a masterpiece of Georgian furniture
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Item No. 30-9161
$68,500
description
specifications
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description
This important George III tazza is attributed to famed Scottish-Swedish architect Sir William Chambers. The magnificent piece features a base carved from statuary marble in the shape of a stylized dolphin, which relates to Chambers extraordinary 18th-century architectural designs. A marvel of beauty and craftsmanship, the tazza is also inset with specimens of Derbyshire Blue John in both the plinth and bowl. Blue John is one of the most in-demand decorative stones in the world, and its inclusion in this piece elevates the tazza to a true Georgian masterpiece.

Due to its popularity, the largest veins of Blue John had disappeared by the early 19th century, and only a small amount of the stone remains today. Because of its scarcity, most examples of Blue John furniture feature only small inset veneers. By contrast, this rare tazza features not one, but two substantial specimens of the stone. It represents some of the last ornamental wares created of such grand size and proportion, though other smaller examples still grace the stately British estates of Chatsworth, Hardwick, Keddleston, and Haddon, among others.

Not only does this table boast a highly rare material, but it was also designed by one of the most important architects and designers of the Georgian era. Sir William Chambers was a Scottish-Swedish architect, based in London, who was active during the reigns of Kings George II and George III. Celebrated for his combination of English Palladianism with French Neoclassicism, he published a number of design treatises during his lifetime, and also built houses for British nobility. The dolphin design of this tazza embodies his complex, yet conservative style. Similar dolphin designs can be found in Chambers' The Franco-Italian Album, a large group of drawings by the architect currently held by the Victoria & Albert Museum. Dolphins also appear on the British Royal Family's Gold State Coach, which was designed by Chambers and built in 1762 for George III.

Hardstone furnishings such as this were popular among the British aristocracy during the 18th century, and connoisseurs actively sought out the most gifted artisans from which to commission these exquisite masterworks. This particular tazza hails from an important titled British estate, for which it was specially designed and commissioned. Today, it stands as a stunning example of both Georgian artistry and the natural beauty of Blue John.

18th Century

18 1/2" wide x 18 1/2" deep x 17 5/8" high
specifications
Period: 18th Century
Origin:England
Type:Other
Material:Blue John
Depth:18.5
Width:18.5
Height:17.25
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