Obelisks were first erected in ancient Egypt circa 2100 BC and were the sacred symbol of the sun god of Heliopolis. The shape, a tall four-sided narrowing square section, each side incised with heiroglyphics, and topped with a pyriamid were representitive of a shaft of sunlight. They usually stood in pairs at the entrance to temples. In the 18th century, oblisks on pedestals appeared as a garden ornament and by the end of the 18th century were also become popular as funerary ornaments in tombs or memorials. During the Victorian period a pair of miniature obelisks became a favourite souvenir of the Grand Tour. Common sizes varied between 35 cm and 80 cm and they were usually made in various coloured marbles, and more uncommonly in rock crystal, malachite, slate and onyx. If the description of an obelisk does not include a date, it is likely the item is modern.
A collection of fourteen coloured and clear glass obelisks seven with a reverse-cut design of an urn with painted flowers, four with a reverse-cut design of a pagoda, one with a reverse-cut design of a turned support, and two with recessed panels, (chips t
A pair of Egyptian revival marble obelisks, of typical form the inlaid mottled terracotta marble decorated with small motifs depicting figures, birds and snakes, supported on a black stepped marble base, (2), 51 cm high
A pietra dura inlay desk obelisk one side of the tapering shaft with flowering jasmine vine hardstone inlay above a briar rose sprig inlay panel, again in hardstone inlay. note; small chip to pyramid tip and some edge chipping to the square sectioned plint
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