A Carved White Marble George III Period Funerary Urn c.1800


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Object Description

The fine and large and heavy solid white marble funerary monument carved in the round in the form of a classical urn carved with fluid flowing drapery, with one loop handle visible to a fluted conical body, to a square plinth base, the whole surviving from George III period England.

Object History


Object Literature

The quality to the carving here is very good with the drapery in particular with a superb fluidity. The sharpness of the carvings has of course been partially lost to the weathering giving the whole a tactile feel. It’s not that often at all that one sees period monuments available for sale, for obvious reasons. This monument would have been commemorating the death of a well-loved and socially important person in the Georgian age and this period saw a revived interest in classical Greece leading to the prevalence of the draped in urn in cemetery symbolism.

Any object draped tends to indicate mourning, whilst an urn typically represents the soul, or immortality. The drape can also be an allusion to the ‘veil’ between this world and the next. As burial became a more customary ritual, the urn was one of the most common of monuments, representing the body as a vessel of the soul and its return to dust while the spirit of the departed eternally rested with God. An urn draped with cloth, as we see here, represents the last partition between life and death. The cloth or shroud draping an urn symbolically guards the ashes as the soul departs the body for its trip to heaven. The drape can also stand for the protective nature of God over the dead and their remains, until the Resurrection occurs.

A poignant and strong decorators piece of superb quality.

Object Condition

The weathered aged surface to the white marble is entirely in keeping with its age, with some small losses only and some lichen deposits from being outside. The sharpness of the carvings has of course been partially lost to the weathering giving the whole a tactile feel.

Object Details

Dealer Opening Times

By appointment only.

Dealer Contact

+44 (0)1767 640995
+44 (0)7729 213013

Dealer Location

The Onion Barn
Shoe Cottage
15 High Street
MK44 3NL

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