The 'picturesque' chimneypiece frieze of beribboned garlands of fruit and flower relates to patterns in Messrs Crunden, Milton and Columbani's, The Chimney-Piece Maker's Daily Assistant, 1766. It is likely to have been installed for the Huguenot Sabatier family at Summergrove, Co. Leix when it was constructed c. 1760.
It is likely to have been installed for the Huguenot Sabatier family at Summergrove, Co. Leix, when it was constructed c.1760. Summergrove is one of the finest of the smaller country houses of Ireland and is discussed in detail in Maurice Craig's Classic Irish Houses of the Middle Size, Dublin Reprint 2006, pp. 129-133. Pl. 32 shows the inner wall of the of the entrance hall with its tripartite series of doors surmounted by elaborate carved wood decoration with an urn and garlands of flowers. Pl. 34 shows the doorcases again with very fine carving.
The chimneypiece and carving is very much influenced by John Houghton, the pre-eminent Dublin carver of the 18th century and his partner John Kelly (d. 1773). Although Houghton and Kelly are not known to have worked at Summergrove, the chimneypiece and the carving there very much suggests their influence (J. Peill & The Knight Glin, Irish Furniture, New Haven and London, forthcoming publication 2007). Kelly's overdoors, window surrounds and staircase brackets for Dr Mosse's house, 15 Cavendish Row, Dublin, each of excellent quality are illustrated in A. Crookshank & The Knight of Glin, 'Reflections on some eighteenth century Dublin Carvers', Avenues to the Past: Essays Presented to Sir Charles Brett on his 75th Year, Belfast, 2003, pp. 62-65.