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.
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. Corals and exotic items would have been typically displayed on mantlepieces, on shelving, or in collector's cabinets.