Mantle centre piece early 20th century, Continental Art Deco,…
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Mantle centre piece early 20th century, Continental Art Deco, depicting a young woman, feeding a pair of Fawns, marble, alabaster & onyx with metal figures, 39 x 86 cm

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  • Onyx - Onyx is a form of agate, used from antiquity and popular again in the 1920s and 30s. European onyx is generally green, but can be many other colours, and can contain bands of black and/or white.

    This multicoloured stone is widely used for table tops, lamp bases and in jewellery. Some types of onyx are also used for cameos of which the upper white layer is cut away to reveal the colour beneath.
  • Art Deco Period - The Art Deco period was a cultural movement that emerged in the 1920s and 1930s, and was characterized by its emphasis on modernism, luxury, and elegance. The name "Art Deco" comes from the Exposition Internationale des Arts D√©coratifs et Industriels Modernes, a large exhibition held in Paris in 1925 that showcased the latest trends in decorative arts.

    Art Deco was a reaction against the ornate and elaborate styles of the previous era, and reflected a new modern sensibility. It was characterized by streamlined, geometric shapes, bright colours, and the use of new materials such as chrome, glass, and Bakelite. Art Deco designers sought to create a sense of luxury and sophistication, often incorporating expensive materials such as ivory, marble, and rare woods.

    Art Deco had a significant impact on a wide range of artistic fields, including architecture, fashion, graphic design, and interior design. Some of the most iconic examples of Art Deco architecture include the Empire State Building in New York City, the Hoover Building in London, and the Palais de Chaillot in Paris.

    The Art Deco period came to an end in the 1940s, as World War II and changing cultural trends led to a shift in artistic styles. However, Art Deco remains an important influence on design and art, and continues to be celebrated for its modernist sensibility and glamorous aesthetic.
  • Alabaster - Alabaster is soft natural stone used for statuary, with a similar appearance to marble, but easier to work with. As it is softer than marble, an item made from alabaster can be scratched with a metal object, and an alabaster item does not polish to a high surface gloss like marble.

    Alabaster objects can be semi-translucent. Alabaster occurs in a pure white form and also with veining from dirt. Colours vary from white through yellow and pink to brown. The veining is usually green or black but can be multicoloured.

    Being semi-translucent, alabaster is often used for the bowls of figural lamps, with the figure itself being either alabaster or marble.

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