Believed gifted to William Montagu Hay, 10th Marquess of Tweeddale & Candida Louisa Dundas Bartolucci upon their marriage in 1878 as a sign of the joining of these two noble families. It has passed through the Family until the death of the 12th Marquess of Tweeddale in 1967 & remained at the Estate.
Granito verde della sedia di San Lorenzo or Lapis Ophites is one of the rarest & most important of stones. It came from Wadi Umm Wikala, near Wadi Semna, Eastern Desert. Egypt. It is so-named because it was used for inlays in the decorative panels of the throne in the Church of San Lorenzo fuori le Mura in Rome including the central and most important panel at the center of the throne back.
Like the other varieties of gabbro from this locality, it has also been known as Ofite because it was thought to come from Mons Ophyates ( Wadi Semna ). Others have suggested the name comes from ‘ophytes’ meaning snake because it was used in Hellenistic times for amulets to ward off the effects of snake bites, a superstition that persisted in Roman times. Rare samples are currently held at the Museo di Storia Naturale dell’Accademia delle Scienze di Siena detta de’ Fisiocritici and in the Francesco Belli Collection, Museo di Scienze della Terra, Bari, in Italy. Few marble pieces also remain from its use in Roman antiquity, in Pompei and at Hadrians Villa at Tivoli.
William Montagu Hay ( 1826 – 1911 ) was the third son of George Hay, 8th Marquess of Tweeddale (1787–1876) by his marriage to Susan, a daughter of William Montagu, 5th Duke of Manchester. As a younger son, Hay was educated at the Imperial Service College and then served in the Bengal Civil Service from 1845 to 1862, including some years as Deputy Commissioner of Simla and then as Superintendent of the Hill States of Northern India. Following his permanent return from India, Hay was Liberal Member of Parliament for Taunton from 1865 to 1868, and was elected again for Haddington Burghs in 1878. He also became Chairman of the North British Railway Company. On 18 May 1878, at St Augustine’s Church, London, he married Candida Louisa, a daughter of Signor Vincencio Bartolucci of Cantiano, Italy. They had three sons and one daughter. After succeeding his brother Arthur as Marquess of Tweeddale on 29 December 1878, he became the owner of estates totalling some 40,000 acres in Scotland. In 1881 he was created Baron Tweeddale of Yester in the peerage of the United Kingdom, giving him a seat in the House of Lords. As well as being Hereditary Chamberlain of Dunfermline he was Lord High Commissioner to the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland from 1889 to 1892 and again in 1896–97. He died on 25 November 1911 at his London house and was succeeded by his eldest son, the Earl of Gifford.
Candida Louisa Dundas Bartolucci ( 1858-1925 ), was the daughter of Vincencio Bartolucci & Clementina Dundas.
The Bartolucci Family are a historically important Italian noble Family whose origins can be traced to 14th Century Florence, Italy.
The Dundas Family established its position as one of the most important in the history of Scotland. Once widely regarded as one of the noblest in the British Empire. Although no longer widely known, the Dundas clan has been instrumental in some of the most important events in Scottish history. It was in the 18th century that the family was key in allowing the Act of Union with England to commence, thereby creating the ‘United’ Kingdom in its current form.
The refined power & beautiful elegance of this Florentine masterpiece cannot be overstated, it is incredibly rare with outstanding provenance. A true masterpiece.