Historical information

The Villa Alba Museum is cultural institution committed to the collection, study and display of 19th century interior decorative finishes, and the components of 19th and 20th century interior decoration. Most rooms in this historically and aesthetically significant house have stone (typically marble) fireplaces that are inset with plain and decorative tiles produced by the company of Mintons Ltd.

Physical description

Born digital photograph of the fireplace in the main bedroom of Villa Alba. The original 1880s white marble mantel surround has a raised iron and brass cast iron grate with hearth and side tiles by Mintons Ltd. The marble fire surround has being carved in a conventional style and lacks the opulence of what was at the time described as the grandest bedroom in the Colony, whereas the raised grate features decorative brass sun symbols and scrolling on the iron panels. The 'grey monochrome' surround tiles, of which there are eight in situ were produced to design by John Moyr Smith by Mintons Ltd as part of the 'Waverley' series (No, 1607) of which there were twelve subjects (Mintons Catalogue, p. 62/206). The selection conforms to William Greenlaw's desire to symbolically represent Scottish themes in the decoration of the house. It also relates to the mural in the dining room architrave of scenes from the novels of Sir Walter Scott. The three rows of hearth tiles employ a repeated geometric pattern.