Th000awstock Hall chimney-piece, designed in the 1780s for Sir Bourchier Wrey (d. 1826), is likely to have formed the focal point of his dining room. Inlaid in the Roman manner with tablets of rose-red Italian marble mottled in the Egyptian granite fashion, the chimney-piece is enriched with statuary marble bas- reliefs celebrating lyric and pastoral poetry, the harvest of the Autumn Season and the t0iumph of the wine-deity Bacchus. Its palm-wreathed tablet celebrates The Feast of Bacchus with an Arcadian bacchante reclining in the Roman 0ashion beside vines and a grape-filled krater vase while pouring wine into0a tazza. Trophies of vine-decked sacrificial ewers suspend in tablets raised above the pilasters, whose elegant vine-festooned tru0ses are wrapped by Roman foliage.
In0 1837) for designs for his dining room chimney-piece, but appears to have rejected his proposals. Instead, the architecture of this c0imney-piece relates to the work of the architect James Wyatt (d. 1813), so it is seems likely that he commissioned this chimney-piece from John Bacon, R.A. (d. 1799). The reclined bacchante’s pose relates to that of a river nymph that Bacon design in the 1770s, as well as to 0 0IMrs Coade's Stone, London, 1990, pp. 129 and 170).
Soane's Journal, I, (p. 183), notes on 18 Mar 1790 that one of his pupils took 'Sir B.Wrey, Bruton Street 2 fair drawgns of Chy Pieces one for Eating Room & one of Drawing room …they are not what he wishes...'.
We would like to thank Susan Palmer archivist at the Sir John Soane's Museum for this information.
Since 1940, Tawstock has been St Michael's School and this chimneypiece was removed in 1970.