Monday, September 26, 2011

Ashford marble obelisks

We were in London recently and were taken by Ashford black marble obelisks. The ones you find are mostly mid to late 19th century and inlaid with floral and geometric designs. Ashford is in Derbyshire, England.

I took these photos at a US auction house and they reflect the most frequent floral and geometric inlaid designs found on Ashford obelisks.

The first marble mill was established in 1748, but "in 1835 the industry was transformed when William Adam of Matlock, at the suggestion of the Duke of Devonshire who had seen Florentine mosaics while on a visit to Italy, introduced the art of inlaying." (From the Black Beauty of Ashford Marble published in Reflections Magazine 2004). They took off in popularity after the Great Exhibition of 1851, as Ashford marble was shown favor by Queen Victoria and Prince Albert. The factory remained in production until 1905.

"Today Ashford black marble ornaments are greatly prized collector’s items, and the dramatic beauty of it’s highly polished black surface still graces the counties stately homes at Chatsworth, Keddleston, Haddon, and Hardwick." (Same article as above).

The examples one finds today are generally around or under 24 inches tall. We did, however, see a very tall pair in London recently that were probably over 3 feet tall and gorgeous.

I took this photo at a London antique store. This has a classic geometric pattern on the obelisk with a floral inlaid pattern on the plinth, and stands about 20 inches tall.

The Buxton Museum in Derbyshire England has many examples of Ashford marble objects, including obelisks!

Ashford marble obelisks are wonderful and decorative collectors items! 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Obelisks in the dining room

Dining rooms are used mostly at night. When thinking about the decorative scheme, the effect of lighting and adding drama should be among the guiding principles. Think lighting, reflective surfaces, and moody colors.

Here the designer Amy Turner used a pair of etched mirrored obelisks in this classic Tennessee house.

Via the blog Belgian Pearls

You'll notice that the dining table doesn't have the usual candle sticks as decoration, but these etched mirrored obelisks make the statement. When the table is set, and the chandelier is lit up in the evening, the pattern of these obelisks will pop.

 Designer : Marshall Watson

There must be something about mirrored obelisks and the dining table. Here the designer Marshall Watson also makes a dramatic statement with etched glass obelisks. They would add a wonderful lighting element at night when they reflect candles or a chandelier.

In the latest Architectural Digest they profile the home of the jewelry designer Elizabeth Locke. I have always loved her classically inspired jewelry designs, and her house in Virgina hunt country is also really lovely. It's classic and colorful. She isn't afraid to use color on the walls. In her dining room she painted a wall peach with matching curtains. She has placed an interesting antique obelisk on the mantle for added elegance.

Dining rooms can be dramatic - from lighting to decorative objects. Obelisks will contribute to the mood you set for your guests.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Smart design with obelisks

Just when I think I will find no more design photos with obelisks, I stumble on some that grab my attention. It's not just about the obelisks - It's about the overall design aesthetic in which obelisks are just one element.

Designer: Mark Rowley via Fauxology blog

The Prestonfield Hotel in Edinburgh, Scotland asked the designer Mark Rowley to design the Rhubarb Restaurant in the hotel. What wonderful, bold use of color and pattern! Nothing matches (wallpaper, upholstery rug...) but it all works for a warm dining room. He obviously loves obelisks too since he includes three pairs on the mantel. It all works!

 Designer: Alberto Pinto

What better place to find obelisks but in Egypt - the birth place of the obelisk. This wonderful Cairo apartment was designed by Alberto Pinto. He adds many Egyptian decorative elements. Among the mounted metal dishes on the coffee table are a pair of specimen marble obelisks (look hard as they are hard to see!).

Obelisks add another layer of decor that complement the overall design enhancing the result!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Designers who love obelisks - Anne Coyle Interiors

Anne Coyle's interiors have a modern vibe influenced by the cool 1960's. She uses obelisks to great decorative effect in her wonderful designs.

Here she uses a pair of modern metal obelisks on a coffee table for added impact of chic.

In this very 1960's looking room, she uses an obelisk lamp on the end table.

Obelisks are the perfect chameleons of design. They fit in design styles from classic 19th century to the cool 1960's to the most contemporary 21st century. Change your style, and bring the obelisks along! 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...