Early Victorian Ashford Marble TableEarly Victorian Ashford Marble Table

A walnut table with an Ashford marble top by Tudsbury of Edwinstowe

£ 58,500.00


c. 1840




Height 33.00 inch. Width 60.00 inch. Depth 36.50 inch.

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The rectangular black marble and pietra dura top is set above a walnut base naturalistically carved with C-scrolls, lilies and foliage on a central lily support with outswept dolphin feet. At the back are two cabriole legs headed by shells and equally ornate carving. The inlaid decoration comprises a central sunburst within a patchwork border of specimen marbles and fossils including: Madrepore, Petworth, Portoro, Brocatelle, Sicilian Jasper and ‘Duke’s Red’. The top of the base is stamped ‘Artist R. Tudsbury Edwinstow. nOTsh.’

Circa 1840.

Height: 33in; 84cm
Width: 60in; 152.5cm
Depth: 361⁄2in; 92.5cm

Oberton Hall: “The Grecian-black marble top, with its ribbon-banded tablet and polychromed pietre dure compartment is a masterpiece of the Derbyshire Black Marble Works at Ashford and Old Royal Museum, Matlock. It was probably designed by William Adam (d.1873) who succeeded to the Works in 1831. A trade sheet illustration of the Museum featured a related table, where the Museum was noted as being ‘under the Especial Patronage of his Grace [Charles Cavendish, 6th] Duke of Devonshire/Minerals and Shells/Inlaid Tables/Mawe’s Original Royal Museum, Matlock-Bath. The finest Spar, and elegantly engraved Black Marble Ornaments, Chimneypieces etc, London Jewellery’.” Please see page 60 for further information on Ashford Marble.

Ashford marble is a type of limestone which can be polished to a glossy black finish. It is quarried in only two sites in Derbyshire and has been used as a decorative building material since Bess of Hardwick commissioned a chimney piece of Ashford stone for Chatsworth. In the 18th century Henry Watson of Bakewell began to produce ornaments and William Spencer Cavendish, the 6th Duke of Devonshire, (1790-1858) commissioned high quality pieces after admiring Florentine micro mosaics during his Grand Tour of Italy. By the 19th century Ashford marble was in vogue both for furniture and ornaments with numerous outstanding pieces being displayed at the 1851 Great Exhibition by such manufacturers as J. Tomlinson, Thos. Woodruff (exhibited by HRH Prince Albert) and G Redfern (awarded a prize medal). See J M Tomlinson, Derbyshire Black Marble, Matlock, 1996, for further details.

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