Monday, July 14, 2014

The Home Beautiful: A Cast Iron Fireplace with Ceramic Tiles, 1905

The Victoria & Albert Museum

The Victoria & Albert Museum is filled with almost anything imaginable from toys to diapers and diamonds to entire rooms from houses.  So, it’s not surprising that we should see an entire fireplace from 1905 in their collection.  

This fireplace is an example of the sort of modern fireplace which came about in the early Twentieth Century--its raised grate was developed when coal replaced wood as the standard domestic fuel.

Like others of the era, this fireplace is made of cast iron and set with decorative ceramic tiles. Cast-iron fireplaces were made of flat plates cast in moulds and then assembled later. 
 Iron founders such as Carron and Coalbrookdale offered a large range of fireplaces in their catalogs in a variety of styles and tile colors. The tiles serve as decoration, but also to reflect the heat efficiently.  

This particular cast-iron fireplace came from a house in Chiswick.
  It is stamped with the name and address of the original founder, Planet Foundry Co. Ltd, Guide Bridge, Manchester.

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