ANTIQUE PAIR OF HOPTON WOOD LIMESTONE CANDLESTICKS
A pair of very rare early 19th Century Hopton Wood limestone candlesticks, made in either Ashford or Matlock, probably by an Ashford marble craftsman. Marble inlaying was a cottage industry and those practicing it were well known as ‘Baublers.’ Other Derbyshire materials have been used in the sticks, the ring of inlay on the top sconce area is possibly an unidentified Derbyshire fossil marble, and each arched inlay panel is outlined in Ashford black marble, found only at Ashford-In-The-Water, the encircling base ring on both candlesticks is made up on a mixture of local Derbyshire marbles, including oakstone, and imported Italian marble.
The sticks are of excellent quality and workmanship, monumental and probably made as a special commission and therefore unique.
1. Crinoid limestone panel. This is a grey limestone full of fossils, some 570 million years old, found in the area around Monyash. Crinoids are sea-urchin type plants up to four feet tall, which grew in the sea that
covered Derbyshire millions of years ago. Beneath this panel is a sienna marble diamond inlay.
2. Yellow sienna marble panel with possibly Cornish serpentine diamond inlay beneath.
3. Grey – green, possibly Connemara marble/ red serpentine diamond.
4. Possibly red Italian marble with grey Italian diamond.
1. Oakstone panel, Oakstone is a rare lesser-known mineral found only in one shaft (now disused) above Youlgreave near Arbor Low Stone Circle. This could possibly be Gibraltar Stone, found only at Sheldon,
which is very similar to Oakstone but pre-dates it (Oakstone was discovered in 1832.) There is a Crinoid diamond inlay under the panel.
2. Grey Carrara panel with Duke’s red marble diamond. Duke’s red is a fine limestone found at Alport Mines near Youlgreave in 1832, and mined out by the 6th Duke of Devonshire who loved this stone (many pieces of the stone are still stored in the cellars of Chatsworth.)
3. Serpentine Carrara marble panel with green local flowstone diamond.
4. Italian marble panel with fluorspar diamond.