A Large Display of Victorian Natural Coral
In the 18th and 19th century every house had a fireplace, and therefore a mantlepiece, and in the grander houses, several mantlepieces. These would be decorated with all manner of things from clocks, candlesticks, photograph frames and pottery and brass ornaments. Such ornaments would also have been displayed in curio cabinets and on shelving.
The Victorians had a fascination for nature, especially the exotic. This large piece of natural coral would have been a souvenir brought home from foreign travel, which only the very rich could afford.