A pair of cast ion fire dogs designed by Thomas Jeckyll

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A pair of cast ion fire dogs designed by Thomas Jeckyll

Antiques Reference 2267

A pair of Thomas Jeckyll design cast iron firedogs

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A pair of cast iron firedogs designed by Thomas Jeckyll and probabky manufactured by Barnard Bishop and Barnard. The peirced body cast with roundels showing a pair of birds inside a wavy border. Stamped regaistration mark. Excellent original condition . Made in England c 1890. Each firedog weighs just under 3 kg. A very substantial and beautiful set of firedogs

Approx height 22 cm width 16.4 cm and 7 cm deep


Thomas Jeckyll (1827 – 1881) was an English architect who excelled in the creation of metalwork and furniture strongly influenced by Japanese design.

Thomas Jeckyll was a son of George Jeckell, a Nonconformist clerk who had taken holy orders, was curate of the Abbey Church in Wymondham and was married to Maria Ann Balduck. Thomas later changed his surname to ‘Jeckyll.’ His brother Henry was a brass founder in Dudley.

He is regarded as an important figure in the Aesthetic Movement. The Arts and Crafts movement was a  direct influence on the Aesthetic Movement and Art Nouveauand began a revolution in the architecture and interior decoration of houses that led to a widespread recognition of the need for beauty in everyday life.  His ecclesiastical architecture was often controversial.

Jeckyll started his career as a Gothic Revival architect in 1850 in Wymondham, planning rectories and schools, designing and restoring historic homes, Gothic churches, and constructing and improving farmhouses and agricultural buildings. By 1858 he was working in Norwich and was elected a Fellow of the RIBA. Shortly thereafter he settled in London, his friend Fredereck Sandys introducing him to the so-called Chelsea aesthetes, du Maurier, Swinburne, Rossetti, Burne-Jones, William Eden Nesfield, Edward William Godwin and Whistler, causing a change of direction in his artistic vision.

Jeckyll pioneered the use of Anglo-Japanese style furnishings. In 1859 he started associating with the Norwich iron works firm of Barnard, Bishop & Barnards, a relationship which endured until 1881.

One of his first projects was the design of the Norwich Gates, which were displayed at the 1862 International Exhibition. These were then presented by the people of Norwich and Norfolk as a wedding present to the Prince of Wales,  and may still be seen at Sandringham Estate. Jeckyll produced an enormous number of designs for the front panels of Barnard’s very popular range of slow combustion fireplaces. These featured a deep grate, and allowed air through the front rather than below, reducing the inflow of air and consequently burning more slowly. Jeckyll started decorating these with designs inspired by Japanese art in 1873.

In the 1870s he designed interiors for clients such as Alexander Constantine Ionides and the ‘Peacock Room’ for Frederick Richards Leyland. Jeckyll’s behaviour had become quite erratic, and in his absence Whistler took over the decorating. Whistler painted over Jeckyll’s leather-covered walls, shelving and sideboard. ‘While the result was undoubtedly splendid it effectively overwrote Jeckyll’s contribution to art history’. Whistler described Jeckyll in 1877 as ‘one of my intimate comrades’.

His early death at fifty-four was brought about by a mental breakdown and severe depression. He became ill in 1877 and died in a Norwich asylum in 1881.

Date c 1880

Condition Excellent original condition.

Dimensions Approximate height 22cm  cm 16.5 cm wide and 7cm deep

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