Georgian Blue John and Silver Urn

  • This Blue John urn is attributed to famed Swedish architect Sir William Chambers
  • The important piece is carved entirely from rare Blue John Derbyshire spar
  • Blue John is celebrated for its unique bands of blues, purples, and violets
  • The form is mounted with elaborate silver ornament, including scrolling foliage and grotesque masks
  • Get complete item description here
Item No. 30-3850

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This important George III Blue John urn is attributed to famed Swedish architect Sir William Chambers. The solid piece is carved entirely from rare Blue John Derbyshire spar, taken from the now-extinct Blue John Cavern in Derbyshire, England. Set atop its Ashford marble plinth, the form is mounted with elaborate silver ornament, including scrolling foliage and grotesque masks.

Blue John spar is a semi-precious mineral recognized by its beautiful radiating crystalline structure, which was only mined at a site near the village of Castleton in Derbyshire. Celebrated for its unique bands of blues, purples, and violets, Blue John was in great demand during the 18th and early 19th centuries. The colorful and decorative stone was even worked into columns in some of the finest houses in Great Britain, most notably Chatsworth, home of the Duchess of Devonshire. 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. This rare Blue John urn, therefore, represents some of the last ornamental wares created of such grand size and proportion.

The architect and designer Sir William Chambers was born in Sweden and traveled widely throughout his life. Not only did he visit China, but also studied architecture both in Paris and in Italy. Many of his drawings from this period are contained in his important 'Franco-Italian' album, currently held in the Victoria & Albert Museum. Chambers moved to London in 1755 and published his influential Treatise on Civil Architecture in 1759. Although a highly trained court architect, Chambers boasted connoisseurship of furniture design including that of silver. Chambers was highly influenced by Continental neoclassicism, and a second visit to Paris in 1774 confirmed the French influence on his own unique blend of Neoclassicism and Palladian conventions. Today, pieces by Chambers are highly sought after and can be found in important collections worldwide, including the Victoria & Albert Museum in London.

12 1/2" high x 5 1/2" diameter
Boasting rarity and importance, this Georgian urn is crafted from beautifully hued Blue John
Maker: Chambers, William
Period: 18th Century
Origin: England
Type: Vases/Vessels
Diameter: 5.5 Inches
Depth: 5.5 Inches
Width: 5.5 Inches
Height: 12.5 Inches
Style: Georgian

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