Style Napoleon III / Ref.1400
Extraordinary monumental fireplace signed by Jules Allard and Louis Ardisson coming from the Berwind Estate, Fifth Avenue, New York
Width: 91'' 231cm
Height: 179'' ⅞ 457cm
Depth: 24'' 61cm
Inner width: 44'' ⅞ 114cm
Inner height: 37'' ¾ 96cm
Edward Julius and Sarah Berwind Estate, New York, NY, USA.
Signatures: “J ALLARD ET SES FILS/INV” and “LOUIS ARDISSON FECIT”
This extraordinary monumental fireplace was made out of Breche violette marble , Carrara Statuary marble , gilded bronze and green patina bronze. It was designed by Jules Allard for the Manhattan residence of Edward Julius Berwind, 828 Fifth Avenue, New York City, in 1894.
Sculptures were realized by Louis Ardisson , french sculptor.
The large low-relief representating the “Triumph of Neptune” is signed by both Allard and Ardisson : « J ALLARD ET SES FILS/INV » and « LOUIS ARDISSON FECIT ».
A pair of gilded winged putti bearing Edward Julius Berwind’s monogrammed cartouche surmounts the overmantel, composed of an architectural frame molded with a copper-colored egg-and-dart friezes. This frame encloses a low-relief feature carved out of Statuary Carrara marble by Louis Ardisson featuring Neptune, surrounded by Nereids, dolphins and winged putti.
The fireplace features a molded rectangular entablature adorned with a Statuary Carrara marble frieze also carved by Louis Ardisson , a winter allegory featuring putti and sleeping hounds, in a bronze frame that runs down on either side of the hearth.
The mantel is flanked by a male Atlant and a female caryatid , with green-patinated bronze skin, hooded and draped in gilded bronze lion-pelts. They are exceptional by their monumental statue and quality achievement.
When Edward J. Berwind moved to New York, he bought a large land on which he built in 1894 a sublime mansion at the corner of Fifth Avenue and 64th Street, only a few blocs away from Central Park and many wealthy neighbors such as William K. Vanderbilt, Cornelius Vanderbilt II, and Mrs. William B. Astor.
For the interior decoration of this luxurious estate, he hires the famous decorator Jules Allard , a French established in the US in 1885. Jules Allard was then at the height of its fame : in collaboration with architect Richard Morris Hunt, he works for the wealthiest families of the East Coast of the United States, like the Vanderbilts.
Thus he realized the decor of "Marble House", the summer residence of William Kissam Vanderbilt and his wife Alva in Newport, Rhose Island.
Delighted with Allard's work, Edward J. Berwind hired him again in 1901 for the important decoration of his wonderful estate in Newport, "The Elms".
The recessed cast iron rectangular hearth frames a fireback raised with a French Royal coat-of-arms, the two tone marble front hearth mirrors the marbles of the mantel.
Follow this link to read our blog post dedicated to this somptuous fireplace.
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