An excellent mid19th Century pair of Ashford black marble obelisks inlaid with a selection of specimen marbles applied to the front of each column in a decorative manner and raised on stepped spreading feet
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Height: 43 cm
Width: 12.5 cm
Condition: Good Condition with wear commensurate of age
Materials: Black marble with specimen inlays
Ashford Black Marble
Ashford Black Marble is the name given to a dark limestone, quarried from mines near Ashford-in-the-Water, in Derbyshire, England. Once cut, turned and polished, its shiny black surface is highly decorative. Ashford Black Marble is a very fine-grained sedimentary rock and is not a true marble in the geological sense. It can be cut and inlaid with other decorative stones and minerals, using a technique known as Pietra Dura.
The mineral has been used decoratively since prehistoric times; the first recorded customer was Bess of Hardwick in 1580.
There was a thriving trade in the manufacture of urns, obelisks and other decorative items from Ashford Black Marble during the late 18th and early 19th century. John Mawe had a museum in Matlock Bath that dealt in black marble and Ann Rayner engraved pictures, next door at another museum, on black marble using a diamond. Many fine examples of engraved and inlaid black marble exist in local collections, including those of Derby Museum, Buxton Museum, and Chatsworth House.