Ashland’s Exquisite Mantels

YOU ARE HERE -> 1850s

Robert Spiotta in his MA thesis, “Remembering Father: James Brown Clay, Merchants, Materials, and A New Ashland,” lists the mantelpieces that James Clay purchased to be installed in the new Ashland mansion.  As described in the previous post, the mantels were purchased in New York City at A.T. Stewart and sculpted by Ottaviano Gori.  This list has abbreviations and some of it is a bit difficult to discern.  But, here is what we know:

For the “Parlor D.R.” (today’s Dining Room), “Large plain white” at a cost of $300.

For the “Square Parlor” (today’s Drawing Room), “Rich ornament” at a cost of $300.  The bronze “elliptic” grate was an additional $60.

"Rich Ornament" mantel in James and Susan's Parlor

For the “Waiting Room” (today’s Study), “Verd Antique” for $75.

The “Dining Room” (today’s Butler’s Pantry), “American Porphyry” for $60.  Porphyry refers to a crystallization of rock; some in America related to copper deposits (thus the vibrant color of this stone).

For the Library, “Spanish Red” for $95.

For the Billiard Room, “Mosaic Grecian” for $90.  One geologist who came on an Ashland tour stated that he had never seen marble like this.

For James’s bedroom (“My Chamber”) (today’s Ash Bedroom), a simple mantel for $60.

Two additional bedrooms upstairs received $60 white mantelpieces, while a few more were apparently purchased for service areas of the house at a cost of $35 each.

See photos in previous post in the previous post.

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