Learn about Obelisks

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.
These items are not for sale and the descriptions, images and prices are for reference purposes only.

A pair of Italian mirrored obelisks, with leather base and gilt crest on each side. Height 77 cm

A pair of green marble obelisks, raised upon a short square section and supported on a black marble cube form plinth. Height 38.5 cm

Pair of large decorative obelisks, Ex Leo Schofield collection, each 81 cm high (2)

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 matched pair of marble specimen inlaid obelisks each tapering rectangular with geometric inlay, 103 and 102 cm high

A large pair of stone obelisks and a large marge sphere on stand, 50 cm high and 20 cm diameter

A Waterford crystal centre bowl, a Waterford crystal obelisk and a pressed glass footed bowl the Waterford bowl 27.5 cm diameter

A pair of gentleman's library tobacco leaf mounted limewood obelisk, some losses 94 cmhigh

A fine and impressive pair of mirrored obelisks, French, circa 1950, 182 x 47 x 47 cm

A large sienna brocatelle marble obelisk (repaired fissure to upper section), 123 cm high.

A small viened verde marble obelisk tapering rectangular, 50. 5 cm high.

A group of four faux zebra striped obelisks various patterns and sizes, the tallest 55 cm high.

A pair of Pietre Dure obelisks, inlaid with geometric medallions of lapis lazuli, malachite and other semi precious stone and supported on a stepped, square pedestal, 18 x 102 x 18 cm

A fine and impressive pair of mirrored obelisks, French, circa 1950, 182 x 47 x 47 cm

A pietra-dura black slate and specimen marble obelisk, 19th century. 45 cm high

Art Deco pair of obelisks tessellated with marble tiles in pink and black. Height 64 cm

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 group of three semi precious stone obelisks, Continental, 19th century, including a moss agate obelisk, a lapis lazuli obelisk and an onyx obelisk. 27 cm, 20 cm and 21 cm high respectively.

A pair of French ormolu mounted green obelisks, circa 1880 45 cm high

A pair of porphyry and black slate obelisks 20th century, minor chips, 46 cm high (2)

two Matlock specimen marble obelisks. labelled W. Pratts, Torquay 26 cm high & 36 cm high

A decorative pair of lapis lazuli and black slate obelisks, in the neo-classical taste, 44.4 cm high (2)

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